Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era

By Roberts, John Michael | Capital & Class, Autumn 2003 | Go to article overview

Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era


Roberts, John Michael, Capital & Class


Andrew Vandenberg (editor) Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire and London, 2000, pp. 312 ISBN 0-333-74847-6 (pbk) £15.99

Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era is a somewhat strange collection insofar that it is both useful and frustrating. It is useful to the extent that it contains some excellent theoretical and empirical chapters on the state of global democracy. It is frustrating to the extent that many chapters present a one-dimensional view of globalisation that effectively wipes the inherent contradictions and crisis-tendencies of capitalist forms of democracy from the analytic picture. Both points are present in the introductory chapter by Vandenberg. Here the editor reviews theoretical debates around the themes of citizenship and democracy and concludes by usefully reminding us that these terms have always been contested well before the rise of globalisation. However, Vandenberg frustratingly focuses upon a narrow range of theoretical debates in these areas. Indeed, his almost exclusive concern lies in what liberal thinkers have to say. Yet this is perplexing especially since Vandenberg is also concerned to place these debates historically. At a minimum, therefore, it would have been reasonable to expect some mention of populist and radical theories of citizenship and democracy such as those developed in Britain by the (e.g.) Levellers, radical artisans, Chartists, Reform League, Suffragettes, various trades unions, etc. But none of these voices appear.

This problem is compounded by some of the six chapters which immediately follow in the first section of the book. If there is one overarching theme that links many of them together it seems to be this: in an era which has seen the nation state lose considerable power due to the onset of economic globalisation we must welcome the fluidity of identity-formation by constructing theories of citizenship and democracy which can take account of notions of diversity, multiculturalism, the politics of recognition, pluralism, etc. But while these sentiments are well expressed and are written in good faith I personally found them problematic for three main reasons. First, recent events in Europe which have witnessed the rise of neofascist/racist political parties would seem to suggest that individual loyalty to the nation state has not dispersed globally as some authors of the book argue. Therefore the extent to which the ideas of pluralism, etc., actually capture the complexity of global politics must be questioned. Second, many of chapters in this section rely too heavily upon ideal-typical notions of citizenship in which history is carved up into neat and clear divisions of democratic participation. And so, for example, Turner (chapter 2) argues that 'thick' loyalties of national identity have been slowly eroded in favour of the onset of 'thin' loyalties 'which will celebrate uncertainty of belonging where our 'final vocabularies' are never final' (p. 30). Historically, however, Turner's argument does not adequately capture the diverse ways that people have always appropriated dominant representations of national identity and reinvested them with new meaning. Even during the era of imperialism, symbolic representations of the Empire were always reinterpreted by different social groups and given a new, sometimes radical, twist. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.