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Citizenship, world, nation, city and self

October 1, 2012

In 2003, Nick Stevenson wrote: “The nation-state today has to respond to the twin forces of globalism and localism, while the traditional basis for national citizenship is widely reported as being eroded. Yet, …it is not that national forms of citizenship are finished but that they are being reconstituted.” (p.35) He continued: “If the irony of active forms of citizenship is that new rights and demands for democratic forms of participation are being claimed at the very time when global forces makes it difficult to satisfy these demands, then perhaps we need to rethink what citizenship might come to mean in the future. As we shall see, citizenship needs to [-p.36] become as concerned with questions of imagination, identity, recognition and belonging as it has been more traditionally with entitlements and obligations. Through the cultural dimensions of citizenship we need to look beyond the horizons of the nation, outside the concerns of our ethnic group, beyond ‘mainstream politics’ and increasingly at ourselves. It is in this space that cosmopolitan versions of citizenship are likely to emerge. Yet how we define the ‘cosmopolitan’ will be a matter of some concern.” (pp.35-36)

Ref: Nick Stevenson (2003) Cultural Citizenship: Cosmopolitan Questions. Open University Press: Maidenhead.

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