I first developed an interest in the phenomenon of global citizenship in graduate school at the University of California-Irvine. I’m especially interested in how global institutions – like the UN Environment Programme and World Health Organization – set expectations for how states should treat their citizens and their environments. These institutionalized norms extend to nongovernmental organizations and their promotion of values like global and universal citizenship that spread across the world.
I joined the Stony Brook Sociology faculty in January 2015 where I continue to study global trends in a range of topics including economic inequalities, the natural environment and human health. One of my favorite publications, “Outcomes of Global Environmentalism,” suggests that world cultural norms (in this case the expectation that governments should take steps to protect their natural resources) diffuse to the national level through ties to global institutions. However, those diffusion processes are strongly mediated by cross-national economic inequalities.
I’m particularly excited about an ongoing set of projects on the worldwide spread of constitutional protections from discrimination over the course of the 20th century. Freedom from discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, sexuality and others are basic rights for political citizenship and access to employment and education, for example. These are rights that many of us tend to take for granted now – but they’re actually quite new as a worldwide phenomenon. With this project, I hope to explain the spread of these basic rights across the world over time.
I was awarded a grant from the National Science Association and American Sociological Association to collect the constitutional protection data and a research fellowship from the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate School to analyze the data and develop these projects further. Graduate and undergraduate students at Stony Brook contributed a great deal to compiling this original data set that will further our knowledge of global trends in citizenship in the years to come.