By Herman R. Van Gunsteren
Does very important citizenship require ethical consensus? Or is it the power to arrange our ameliorations, that enables humans to dwell jointly as voters in a republic? while liberal, republican, and communitarian theories of citizenship analyzed the stipulations of citizenship, the primary message of this ebook is that the sensible workout of citizenship, lower than stipulations which are faraway from perfect, is the most resource of its power. rather than arguing for extra participation, it makes a speciality of the citizenship of these who, for no matter what cause, are already lively within the public sphere. Herman van Gunsteren develops a idea of citizenship compatible to the period of political reform that was once inaugurated by way of the revolutions of 1989.
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Additional info for A theory of citizenship: organizing plurality in contemporary democracies
Contemporary society is not a "civil society'kf autmomous individuals. t. determixle the course of events. ct like dults, gujded by a well-understood intertwining of pemmal gain and the benefit of the organization or department they work for, tnstead of friendships, they have networks of relationships,. In this society of organizations we find m overwhelming variety of ""cmmunities," some of which remah in existence longer than others. Beside the f m i j a r commmities of natiornaiity, religion, and business and labor, we now fa'rrd a host of less familiar and less established ties that often play m important: role in the lives of indiviciuals but that we camot easily call communities, In this societyfgovernment bodies, too, have lost their established places.
While questions of dtiztmship used to be concerned mainly with liberation frnm serfdom and other legal forms of domination, they nuw also concern liberation from ossified identities. d gronps used their identities as a lever to liberate themselves from established structures (women, homosexuals, Catholics), to lifestyle politics. ies. Although citizenship aims at freedom and rejects slavery in, atl its forms, it does not foster a limitlw diwersity of fleeting identities. m e n developing Cheir own Ijfestyle, citizens must always take into account that they may be beld responsible by cocitizens for the exercise of thezir citizenship, Citizenship is more than a happy-go-lucky enjoyment of one's oocvn freedom to live as onc pleases.
It also means that there am conditions for admission to the practice of citizenship. 'The republic should not only facilitate access but also formulate and maintain those conditions. It does not merely wait for individuafs to present themselves spontmeously as citizens but also promotes the development of people into independent and competent citizens. ividuals are not naturally given; they are socially fomed. The? =public does not simply leave the ""reproduction""of dtizens to existing communities, but verjfies hlrhether the social education &red by those cornunities actually aIlows for admission to citizenship.