Mediating love of humanity, love of country, and love of culture: A comparison of normative debates on global citizenship in South Korea and the United States

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This article examines South Korean citizens' perspectives on global citizenship revealed in their public discourse in comparison with the outlooks that emerged in the landmark debate on patriotism and cosmopolitanism in the United States between moral philosopher Martha Nussbaum and her critics. Three key findings emerge: (1) in contrast with American skeptics of global citizenship who emphasize political loyalties and liberal patriotism, South Korean skeptics lean away from political allegiances in favor of traditional culture and identity; (2) themes such as reconciliation and poverty are discussed more prominently in the South Korean discourse than the American one; and (3) global citizenship debates in South Korea are bound up with anxiety about globalization and its accompanying issues and dynamics, such as Americanization, cultural shifts, and the country's economic competitiveness. South Korean global citizenship discourse enriches our broader understanding of patriotism and cosmopolitanism by illustrating how a rising democracy can shift gradually toward globally-minded political thinking while also focusing heavily on the protection and preservation of what is special and distinct within Korean culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-32
Number of pages28
JournalKorea Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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