The Modern Citizen and the Fight Against Corruption

José Zalaquett

José Zalaquett

Head of the Project at MOOC Chile
Lawyer, Universidad de Chile. Doctor Honoris Causa, by the Universities of Notre Dame and City University of New York.
José Zalaquett

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The origin of the modern concept of citizen may be traced back to the late 18th century. At that time the philosophical propositions of the Enlightenment materialized in the independence of the United States of America and in the French Revolution.

Those philosophical propositions changed the concept of sovereignty. Up until then sovereignty was thought to reside in the King or Lord. There were subjects, not citizens. The legitimaty of political power was grounded on religion, dynasty or force. Instead, from that time on the dominant idea was that sovereignty resided on the people and that the legitimacy of power stemmed from the consent of the governed.

It has taken much time for this theoretical notion to take roots in practice. Throughout the 19th century the condition of citizen was slowly extended. First it was granted to all males (having the abolition of slavery being painfully obtained). During the first half of the 20th century citizenry was extended to women, a process still unfinished.

However, this expansion still meant that people confined their public participation to voting in elections for public office .

Nevertheless, after the Second World War there have been significant advances concerning the role of citizens. In the 60s a human rights nongovernmental movement was born; later, it spread all over the world. In the 70s the movement for the protection of the environment was added; it also spread to most countries and it attracted the interest of new generations.

In both cases it was a new phenomenon: common people rallied around public issues which concerned everybody. Thus, citizens took a more active role beyond just participating in public elections. This does not mean that the majority of people does take an active role as citizens. Yet, those who do contribute to define the public agenda and influence other people.

In the 90s, with the end of the Cold War, a new movement around an issue of public interest begun to shape up: transparency, public integrity and anticorruption. Just like the human rights movement and the environmental movement, anticorruption has attracted, increasingly, the attention of the public and the press.

However, this topic is still novel. Therefore, it is necessary to train new leaders and to educate the general public on anticorruption.

For this reason, we have decided to offer, in 2015, and open, free, online course on anticorruption. It would be given in Spanish with subtitles in English and possibly other languages.

7 thoughts on “The Modern Citizen and the Fight Against Corruption

  1. I highly commend Professor Jose Zalaquett and his partners for their intellectual effort in enlightening the world on key subjects that can enhance the betterment of both the present and future generations.
    I completed the Introduction to Human Rights course and look forward to participate in more of the courses that are are authored as the knowledge gained will hone my capability to work for preventing conflicts/insecurity in Uganda and the entire world by addressing the root causes.
    Gross violation of human rights and corruption are some of the causes of global conflicts/insecurity.
    By the time I retired from the National Resistance Army(NRA) now Uganda People’s Defence Forces(UPDF) in 1994 and later founded Uganda Peace Foundation I had no knowledge on such topics which are vital for promoting global peace and security.
    Once again,my most appreciation to the Professor and his partners.

  2. Saludo al insigne profesor José Zalaquette y agradezco la oportunidad de poder continuar estudiando bajo su guía y ahora sobre el tema de la anticorrupción, un asunto que debemos estar preparados para exigir nuestros derechos. Estoy comprometido a tomar el curso. Muchas gracias

  3. Gracias profesor Jose Zalaquette para volver a despertar la verdad y la humanidad en mí !!

  4. This course is very timely and will enlighten proper use of public resources for ultimate development.

  5. Many thanks to all for your kind words in the name of all the MOOC Chile staff. We are really grateful that the course can be usefull for you, and we hope to meet the expectations in the next course about Transparency. Thanks again.

    Muchas gracias a todos por sus amables palabras, en nombre de todo el equipo de MOOC Chile. Estamos muy agradecidos de que el curso sea así de útil para ustedes, y esperamos cumplir con las expectativas en el próximo curso sobre Transparencia. Gracias de nuevo.

  6. Muy Sr. mio :
    Deseo realizar mi inscripción en el curso de < El ciudadano y la lucha contra la corrupción.
    Reciba mis saludos.

  7. Estimado Mariano, muchas gracias por tu interés. Por ahora sólo tenemos disponible el curso Introducción a los Derechos Humanos, puedes encontrarlo aquí con subtítulos en español y aquí con subtítulos en inglés

    El próximo año a mediados de año lanzaremos el curso sobre Transparencia y Anti-Corrupción, por lo que debes estar atento a nuestro sitio o redes sociales. Saludos.

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