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Disputing citizenship

John Clarke
Kathleen Coll
Evelina Dagnino
Catherine Neveu
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Disputing citizenship
    Book Description:

    Citizenship is always in dispute – in practice as well as in theory – but conventional perspectives do not address why the concept of citizenship is so contentious. This unique book presents a new perspective on citizenship by treating it as a continuing focus of dispute.The authors dispute the way citizenship is normally conceived and analysed within the social sciences, developing a view of citizenship as always emerging from struggle. This view is advanced through an exploration of the entanglements of politics, culture and power that are both embodied and contested in forms and practices of citizenship. This compelling view of citizenship emerges from the international and interdisciplinary collaboration of the four authors, drawing on the diverse disputes over citizenship in their countries of origin (Brazil, France, the UK and the US). The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the field of citizenship, no matter what their geographical, political or academic location.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-1254-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Milton Keynes
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    We begin by posing the question addressed to us by a friend: ‘Why another book on citizenship?’. It is indeed true that, in recent years, citizenship has been the focus of a torrent of books, articles and conferences, such that adding one more to this overwhelming flow looks like a strange decision. But part of our answer to the question is that this flourishing interest in citizenship is one of the ways in which it looks important and influential, and, indeed, serves as a sort of keyword for many different scholarly interests. Indeed, even a brief survey of recent publications...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Recentering citizenship
    (pp. 9-56)

    What is at stake when we speak of citizenship? For some, it is the relationship between the political subject and the state. Others treat it as the ground of a critical distinction between citizens and aliens. Some view citizenship as the focal point for struggles over equality and inequalities. Still others emphasise its foundational character in Hannah Arendt’s much-cited phrase ‘the right to have rights’, or define it as ‘being political’ (Isin, 2002). As studies of citizenship proliferate, so, too, do the definitions and characterisations of its core features. Indeed, this multiplicity of definitions can be seen as a tribute...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Decentering citizenship
    (pp. 57-106)

    In Chapter One, we argued for the importance of recentring conceptions of citizenship. This need to ‘recentre’ citizenship so as to highlight its deep embeddedness in political projects and cultural formations implies a parallel move to ‘decentre’ it from its generally agreed-upon connections, in particular, to the formations of state, nation and law in which citizenship is typically understood as a status, and as necessarily and culturally ‘national’. In this chapter, we will develop this decentring by making the contingent connections between citizenship and states visible as a critical analytical issue, and not merely an empirical observation. We will then...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Imagining the ‘communities’ of citizenship
    (pp. 107-168)

    In this chapter, we explore the ‘imagined communities’ of citizenship. One of the potent qualities of the idea of citizenship is its capacity to serve as a term through which different sorts of collectivities of people and connections between people may be imagined, mobilised and brought into being. Such imagined communities are constructed and elaborated in many different sites and settings, although this diversity is overshadowed by the persistent articulation of citizenship as a national question (both in academic theory and governmental practice). We begin, then, with questions about these national articulations, launching ourselves from Benedict Anderson’s (1983) famous understanding...

  8. Conclusion: Disputing citizenship
    (pp. 169-180)

    We are conscious that we have written a rather strange book. It has been disputatious, wrestling with approaches to, and conceptions of, citizenship that we find unhelpful. It has been ‘all over the place’ as we have traced different sites, settings and forms in which citizenship has been – and continues to be – disputed. It has tried to liberate citizenship from the ties that bind it to particular normative, institutional or political formations, and instead to make its mobility and mutability a central rather than a secondary feature. We have tried to take seriously Etienne Balibar’s wonderful and productive insistence that...

  9. References
    (pp. 181-204)
  10. Index
    (pp. 205-214)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 215-215)