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Focus Program

What does it mean to be a “global citizen” or a citizen in a global era? At the core of current debates surrounding global citizenship are questions about which communities we belong to, what values we ought to uphold, how we should exercise our political and civic rights, and to whom we are responsible and why. The answers to these questions impact the lives and work of individuals, organizations, and governments every day.

In this Focus cluster, participants will develop a critical yet actionable understanding of the concept of “citizenship”—its historical origins, ethical implications, and contemporary global challenges—for both individuals and institutions. Further, students will hone the crucial tools of moral dialogue necessary for lifelong engagement as thoughtful citizens and ethical leaders.

Bringing together a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, the cluster will address a key set of questions: What sorts of meaningful democratic participation are possible in a world of globalized capital and economic power? How are the rights and responsibilities of citizens changing? How are forces of cosmopolitanism impacting local, regional, and national identities? How do concepts of democratic citizenship inform and shape the conflicts between national, regional, and global forms of governance? Students will analyze these questions through the lenses of the current immigration debate, refugee law and policy, programs of corporate responsibility, and the rise of new forms of global governance.

This Focus cluster seeks to build a sustainable community of students engaged in ethical inquiry, and participants will have access to supplemental civic engagement and research opportunities offered through the Kenan Institute for Ethics. During the fall semester, students will have the chance to engage with visiting speakers and community leaders as well as to participate in field trips. In addition, students will be welcomed into the Institute’s student community, which presents opportunities to interact with other engaged students, use the Institute’s communal spaces, and stay abreast of additional Institute programs, which open additional avenues for research, civic engagement, and/or academic work.

Application Procedure
The Focus Program selects students by online application only and accepts on average 32 students per cluster. To learn more about the Focus program in general, or to apply to the Ethics, Leadership, & Global Citizenship cluster, visit the Focus Program website.