The values of Living Citizenship can be understood through a contrast with the values that Bruce Springsteen writes about in his song “We Take care of Our Own”, a damning indictment of modern day American isolationism.
From Colonial to Postcolonial
The neo-liberal view of the world whereby things are done for money and for selfish reasons serves us badly. In our relationships with people from other countries we need to be aware of the impact that this dominant economic structure has on them creating inequality, injustice and dependency. The view portrayed by the media of African and Asian countries as under-developed and in need of “help” from us in “more advanced” nations is harmful. It uses a colonial narrative of superiority e.g. advanced/ less advanced, developed/less developed. We need to develop a different world view and create a narrative which respects the values of other countries and supports their own version of development. Living Citizenship gives a voice to the less powerful and gives citizens across the world the opportunity to discuss what their priorities are, what is different between them and what is similar, giving rise to goals that transform lives and that are owned and led by the participants themselves. This has to be the future of development.