The rights and obligations conferred by citizenship are not equitably distributed. While powerful forces are pushing for integration on a planetary scale, cultural, ethnic, religious, economic and technological divisions appear to be growing stronger, with an increasing risk of loss of social cohesion. We have not yet found the practices that will allow everyone to embrace a new and intrinsically just democracy. The rights and obligations of citizenship have implications that vary at local, national and global levels; previous distinctions between private and public spheres of responsibility often blur in a global economic context. Democratic practices must concord with the pluralist environments where they will be deployed, in a spirit of tolerance and shared social responsibility.
Research on this theme may focus, for example, on political values and the exercise of democracy, taking growing social diversity into account. It would also be of interest to examine, from a historical and comparative perspective, the institutional conditions for civic involvement and corporate «good citizenship» practices. Research may also centre on the notion of citizenship and how, in modern societies, it is being redefined in a growing number and variety of political arenas.
The interaction between citizenship and responsibility in settings within and beyond the nation-state is a research area that needs to be expanded. One example of this is the urban territory, which is rife with emerging problems. Aside from these location-based issues, there is a wealth of other debates sparked by an increasingly cosmopolitan population that is contributing to the growth of ethno-cultural diversity all around the world.