Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The World Citizen in the Context of State Sovereignty

Musheer Olatunji Kamau.

Developments regarding the idea of global citizenship, what Plato’s Socrates called being a citizen of the world, continually push political analysts, ecologists, theorists, and other social scientists to predict its impact on the concepts of sovereignty and sovereign immunity. On the one hand, some political theorists argue that as long as sovereignty remains clearly defined and distinct states will continue to prosper, and therefore civilization as it exists will continue, peacefully. On the other hand, there are those who contend that, in light of advances in technology and education, increasing mobility, and new global threats, the idea of global citizenship will take precedence over concerns about domestic sovereignty issues. For these latter observers, modernity has witnessed fundamental changes in global dynamics that exceed the boundaries and capacities of the traditional nation-state.

In this paper, I propose a possible scenario by which the tension between nationalism and globalism might be mollified. I also explore the traditional definition of citizenship, considering whether one’s own citizenship absolves the individual of responsibilities to citizens of other nations. The Socratic concept of global citizenship will be averred. My proposal draws upon the work of Anthony Smith, Charles Tilly and Benedict Anderson, whose work in the social sciences aims to define human identity in a post-modern world.

This analysis may serve as a background against which the establishment of global educational and other transnational institutions, especially regarding the humanities, is directed, thus portraying the interaction between the humanities and society – an important correlation that encourages humanity to look towards a different, yet benevolent future that is distinctly human.


Musheer Olatunji Kamau  (United States)
University Scholar
Honors Programme
Baylor University

Musheer Kamau is University Scholar at Baylor University, Texas, USA. His concentrations are Economics, International Studies and Ethics. His home country is Trinidad and Tobago. His current work includes an ethical analysis of capital punishment in Texas, and global citizenship research. He is currently pursuing studies to become an International Human Rights Lawyer.

  • State sovereignty
  • Global citizenship
  • Globalism
  • Citizenship
  • Sovereign immunity
  • Nationalism

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)