Citizenship, global citizenship and volunteer tourism: a critical analysis

Butcher, J. (2017) Citizenship, global citizenship and volunteer tourism: a critical analysis. Tourism Recreation Research, 42 (2). pp. 129-138. ISSN 0250-8281.

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This paper reflects on the association of volunteer tourism with global citizenship and argues that it involves outsourcing citizenship to ‘the globe’ in a manner unlikely to benefit global understanding or development politics. Volunteer tourism is strongly associated with global citizenship. Global citizenship, in turn, is associated with a better world. A key claim made about global citizenship is that it enables people to discharge their responsibilities to others in distant lands in an ethical way, less constrained by national interests. Yet global citizenship involves a reworking of the concept of citizenship not only spatially from nation to globe, but also politically from nation state and polity to non-governmental organisations and consumption (in this case, of tourism). The paper argues that in a number of ways the association of volunteer tourism with this geographically expanded but politically constricted notion of citizenship both reinforces a limited politics, and also limits the capacity of voluntourism to enlighten. By contrast, it is argued that a consideration of republican citizenship both clarifies these limits and suggests a more progressive rationale for volunteer travel.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Jim Butcher
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 15:42
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:46

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00