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Active Citizenship

Posted by on Mar 25, 2021 in Citizenship | 0 comments

An active citizen is someone who takes a role in the community. It is considered a buzz word by some because of its vague definition.

There is no standard model and no universally accepted definition for an active citizen.  It is agreed that it refers to individuals who are involved in public life and affairs. There are different levels: local, national and international levels. The term is used to refer to citizens who are actively involved in the life of their communities helping to solve problems or to bring about change or by resisting unwanted change most especially at the local levels.

These citizens aim to improve the quality of life by developing the skills, knowledge and understanding in order to make informed decisions about their workplaces and communities. At the national level it can be from voting to being involved in campaigning to become a member of a political party. At international level the global active citizen may be involved in movements to promote sustainability or fair trade, to reduce poverty or eliminate slavery.

An active citizen is not necessarily a ‘good citizen’ in the sense that they follow the rules or behave in a certain way. An active citizen may challenge the rules and existing structures although they should generally stay within the bounds of democratic processes and not become involved in violent acts. There is a general set of values and dispositions that can be associated with active democratic citizenship including respect for justice, democracy and the rule of law, openness, tolerance, courage to defend a point of view and a willingness to listen to, work with and stand up for others.

It may be the development of knowledge, understanding, critical thinking, a form of literacy, coming to grips with what happens in public life and the judgement of local, national, European, global levels. It implies action and empowerment, i.e. acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes, being able and willing to use them, make decisions, take action individually and collectively.

Active Citizenship can be characterized through:

•Involvement in a voluntary activity or engaging with local government agencies or participation of individuals in the community

•Empowering the people to play a part in the processes and decisions that affect them, especially public services and policy

•Making informed decisions by understanding and obtaining the knowledge about the political, social, economic context of their participation

•Challenge actions or policies of existing structures on the basis of principles like equality, diversity,  social justice and inclusiveness.

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Economic Citizenship

Posted by on Mar 23, 2021 in Citizenship | 0 comments

When a foreign investor for a real estate project in another country is applying for a citizen in that country because of their investment is a program called Economic Citizenship.  If the investor passes the usual security checks, they pay an additional application fee and their family members are approved for economic citizenship. They are given a second passport, and all the rights and privileges that come with the citizenship. This is a demonstration that in this day and age, citizenship is a free choice based on lifestyle and doesn’t necessarily have to be where you were born.

The increase in foreign capitalization benefits countries such as St. Kitts.  This helps increase the strength of its economy and develop infrastructure. Economic citizenship encourages foreign investors to finance projects throughout the country. Most programs require a minimum investment in an approved real estate development or other project. It also requires an application fee for the applicant and any other family members.

Economic Citizenship give the investing individual the privilege to work and live in the country freely with no restrictions, their business also benefit from escaping taxes in their home country. Holding a passport for St. Kitts for example, makes international travel easier, because the individual will not have to apply for a visa for 125 countries around the world.

This citizenship represents both the economic contributions required to become a citizen as well as the role in which a person’s economic standing can influence his or her rights as a citizen. The relationship between citizenship and economic participation can be considered contributing factor to increasing inequalities and unequal representation of different socioeconomic classes within the country you are applying in.

The republican model of citizenship emphasizes one’s active participation in civil society as a means of defining his or her citizenship. In relation to economic citizenship the civil participation can be described as economic participation so critical to the capitalist system. Defining one’s ability to be a full citizenship by his or her economic participation will establish a variegated system of citizenship in which those who can contribute most to the economy will be better represented and have a broader range of rights than those who cannot contribute as much. Variegated citizenship represents the concept that those within a different regime or status receive different levels of rights and privileges.

There are arguments that contribute to the notion of economic citizenship because they highlight both how economic standing and participation can be linked to one’s identity and privileges as a citizen.

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Corporate Citizenship

Posted by on Mar 19, 2021 in Citizenship | 0 comments

Corporate citizenship is a concept also known as corporate social responsibility. It states that businesses have a responsibility to society in general and to the community in which they operate.  There are several areas of responsibility of corporate citizenship, such as legal, economic, philanthropic, ethical and environmental areas.

This means doing business not only to meet the needs of owners and stockholders, but to incorporate the interests of all stakeholders in business operations like the employees, customers, the community and the environment. A business that operates in an ethical manner and supports the concerns and interests of the community is a responsible corporate citizen.

Stockholders and stakeholders are two key interest groups in many businesses. Stockholders own a piece of the business and have a financial investment in the business. Stakeholders may or may not own a piece of the business. A stakeholder is any person or group who has an interest in the business such as employees and managers, customers, residents in the area, regulatory agencies, suppliers, distributors and community groups. A good corporate citizen has responsibility to both.

A good corporate citizenship is the result of generating profits for owners and stakeholders in the free market model of business.  As much as possible, the business produces at the lowest cost possible. In this model, improved health, social development, effective resource management, education, and other community and social issues are driven by business. When the business is successful it is a good corporate citizen because when the business is successful the community is successful as well.

Businesses choose to be good corporate citizens because it increases profits. This is sometimes called enlightened self-interest. The founder of The Body Shop believes that “being good is good for business.” The Body Shop displaying Save the Whales posters in its store windows created interest in the community and bolstered the company’s reputation. Good corporate citizens have a good reputation in the community because they meet the various needs and work to balance and meet the needs of various stakeholder groups. They also have lower employee turnover, reduced risk and liability, along with improved efficiency because they improve their processes and reduce waste.

The third business model of corporate citizenship has environmental, social and profit goals, all of which are equal. Profit does not take precedence over the other two.  These types of businesses are privately owned by entrepreneurs, philanthropists or environmentalists. Social responsibility and corporate citizenship drive the company’s operations, including marketing and sales. One business donates most of its after-taxes profit to charitable and educational causes. The business was made not only to provide a product or service but to improve and support the community.

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