Thursday, June 26, 2008

Antoine's notes on citizenship

Citizenship: rights and duties attached to membership of a defined society or political community (subject vs. citizen)

“Citizenship is status bestowed on those who are full members of a community. All who possess the status are equal with respect to the rights and duties with which the status endows” (Marshall)

Question of the substantive content of rights and duties + of those entitled to them (class, gender, race, age, mental fitness, etc.)

Marshall, Citizenship and Class

T.H. Marshall: 'Citizenship and Social Class' (1949):

3 elements of citizenship:
- civil: rights guaranteeing individual freedom (freedom of speech, thought, faith and association, right to property, equality in front of law and due process)
- political: rights to participate in exercise of political power as representative or elector
- social: welfare (provision of economic security and universal access to health, education and social services)

Formal equality of citizenship vs. informal inequality of socio-eco class - “it is clear that, in the twentieth century, citizenship and the capitalist class system have been at war” (Marshall)

State as mediator of social conflict arising within liberal democracies and welfare state as basis of inclusive social democracy

- methodological: evolutionist account, underplays political struggles in the gain of citizenship rights
- focused on British case, ethnocentric
- ‘top down’ account of citizenship
- no parallel theory of the state
- neglects other forms of inequality (gender, race, etc)

Citizenship, Identity, and Cultural Diversity

Challenge of multiculturalism and minorities to liberal theories of citizenship
Needs/demands of minorities (linguistic, religious, ethnic, etc.) which are not accounted for by standard liberal laws

3 approaches to citizenship and identity:
- liberalism (universalism)
- communitarianism (particularism)
- civic republicanism (Habermas’s ‘constitutional patriotism’)

Tension btw universal (negation of difference, imposition of foreign values) and particular (incommensurable gap between self and other, essentialism of cultures)

Formal (membership of a nation-state) vs. substantive (array of civil, pol, and soc rights) citizenship

Dual citizenship, supra/sub-national governance (EU), cosmopolitanism, human rights (international legal recognition of crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and humanitarian interventions)

Cultural/Identity Politics
  • Gender, ethnic, sexual orientation, religion, age (children, seniors), ability, etc.
  • --> not simply extension of rights to marginalised groups but reconceptualisation of citizenship in terms of the right to an identity (universal citizenship itself a form of group identity?)
  • Criticisms of identity politics: risk of social “balkanisation”, abandonment of class as central analytic concept
  • Moving beyond essentialism/constructivism in speaking of identity?
  • Is the formation of identity possible without processes of exclusion or ‘othering’?

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