Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Excerpt

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 post national critiques which challenge the conception of what the relation ships 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 precise shape and structure of citizenship in Europe seems to be altering. This book seeks to analyse and, crucially, connect these developments. A key theme of the book is that the theor etical debates over the meaning of citizenship shape how we view contemporary social, political and economic developments which impact upon citizenship.

As Taylor-Gooby (1991: 94) notes, citizenship is both a normative and an empirical concept. It refers to a status which we might recognise as citizenship of a particular state or community and the rights and obligations which this status confers. In addition, such a description frequently also contains arguments about how citizenship should be developed, expanded or changed and, hence, normative arguments about what citizenship should be like. Another way of thinking about this is to say that citizenship is both theoretical and empirical. Citizenship refers to the relationship between the political community and the individual and between individuals themselves. This relationship has two aspects: a theoretical one, which considers what the relationship should be like, and an empirical one, which examines what the actual relationship is between political communities and individuals and between individuals in such communi-

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