Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Michael Lister
Emily Pia
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Citizenship in Contemporary Europe
    Book Description:

    In the era of globalisation, European integration, mass migration, and changing patterns of political participation and welfare state provision, the precise shape and structure of citizenship in Europe seems to be altering. This book explores these developments through the analysis of a range of perspectives, uniting a theoretical orientation with an empirical approach. The central theme of the book is that the way in which we assess the impact of these changes on citizenship depends upon how we view citizenship theoretically.The text is divided into two sections. First, the book identifies three main theoretical approaches to citizenship: classical positions (liberal, communitarian and republican); multiculturalist and feminist theories of citizenship; and the further challenge raised by post-national or cosmopolitan theories of citizenship. The second section focuses on four key social, economic and political developments - migration, political participation, the welfare state and European integration - all of which raise fundamental questions about the status and meaning of citizenship in contemporary Europe.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3343-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-7)

    Citizenship is a concept which speaks to the relationships between individuals and political communities. Yet, increasingly in Europe the precise terms of this relationship are subject to question. What citizenship means is contested amongst academics, as established liberal theories of citizenship are confronted with communitarian, multicultural and postnational critiques which challenge the conception of what the relationships between individuals and political communities should look like. Parallel to this, citizenship also faces challenges in terms of contemporary social and political developments. In an era of globalisation, European integration, mass migration, and changing patterns of political participation and welfare state provision, the...

  5. Chapter 1 Theories of citizenship
    (pp. 8-31)

    Citizenship in its many different theoretical and actual existing (state) forms might be seen as an attempt to grapple with the question of belonging and membership. How do states, or other political entities, coalesce individuals into some form of unit capable of living with one another? Each of the different theories we will examine in this and the coming chapters has a different answer to this. Frequently they contradict one another and are often incommensurable. To an extent this reflects the context and situations to which the different theories of citizenship are opposed. To simplify somewhat, liberal citizenship developed in...

  6. Chapter 2 Theories of citizenship: feminism and multiculturalism
    (pp. 32-57)

    The theories of citizenship discussed in the previous chapter, despite their differences, share a view that citizenship is a universal category. This means that for the classical theories of citizenship, no matter how we define citizenship, it should be the same for all citizens, for all members of the community. Whatever rights, responsibilities and duties that the status confers upon one, should be the rights, duties and responsibilities that all share. However, this is a position that has come under some scrutiny and criticism. The foundation of these criticisms might be broadly summed up as a concern with difference. There...

  7. Chapter 3 Postnational citizenship
    (pp. 58-79)

    The concept of postnational citizenship has gained momentum in the last two decades. The emergence of transnational political structures and the proliferation of transnational political activity, coupled with the internationalisation of human rights in the era of globalisation, have led some academics to argue for a postnational citizenship. The invocation of postnational citizenship raises questions about the nation-state based approach to citizenship and takes into account a multiplication of non-formal political participation and the deterritorialisation of citizenship practices and identities.

    The assertion that citizenship is framed within national boundaries is maybe mostly celebrated in the work of Hannah Arendt, who...

  8. Chapter 4 Political participation
    (pp. 80-106)

    The issue of political participation, or, more specifically, the perceived decline in political participation, has become of huge interest to both the academic community and political practitioners. As we shall see below, turnout at elections has been falling in most European countries. However, it is not only in electoral terms that a disengagement with politics is being noted. Figures for the membership of political parties and trade unions also seem to show secular decline. These trends have led many to question whether there is a crisis within the democratic system worldwide. Something, it seems, is wrong with democracy, if more...

  9. Chapter 5 The welfare state
    (pp. 107-135)

    The welfare state is an institution, or complex configuration of institutions, practices and policies, which seems to attract controversy. Indeed, it might be argued that considering the welfare state in a volume on citizenship is itself controversial, as some conceptions of citizenship, notably classical liberal conceptions, do not consider the welfare state, or the social rights of citizenship that it delivers (to varying degrees, as we shall see), to be part of citizenship. There is controversy about what the welfare state should or should not supply to its citizens, and amongst academics there is considerable controversy and debate as to...

  10. Chapter 6 Migration in Europe
    (pp. 136-161)

    Migration (and the associated issues of citizenship and belonging) is one of the most controversial issues in contemporary politics. As we shall see, it is frequently linked to questions of terrorism, crime and disorder and, if left unattended, seen as something that will prompt a general collapse in European society. In this chapter we will examine migration and citizenship in Europe and try to analyse why migration is so controversial, and what it means for both existing and potential citizens of Europe, and our conceptions of citizenship. It is frequently argued, as we have seen in previous chapters, that migration...

  11. Chapter 7 European citizenship and European identity
    (pp. 162-189)

    The introduction of Union Citizenship by the Treaty on European Union stirred a heated debate on the political dimension of European integration, concerning issues such as legitimacy and democracy, European constitutionalism, European identity and the European public sphere (Weiler 1995; Meehan 1996; Kostakopoulou 1996; Closa 1998). Thus, European citizenship is considered to be a central theme in what has been called the ‘normative turn’ in European Studies (Weiler 1997).

    The debate is characterised by two different sets of tensions inextricably linked with interpretations of citizenship: universalism and particularism. The critics of European citizenship see it as a symbolic and decorative...

  12. Conclusion
    (pp. 190-196)

    In the Introduction we outlined two key themes of the book: (1) that any assessment of citizenship in contemporary Europe is heavily dependent upon which theoretical conception of citizenship is held, and (2) that citizenship should be seen in a connected way, such that the links between the different facets of citizenship can be seen. In this conclusion we will return to these two themes and attempt to provide some kind of overall assessment. However, we are not trying to provide a simple concise statement as to the status of citizenship in Europe. There are a number of reasons for...

  13. References
    (pp. 197-216)
  14. Index
    (pp. 217-218)