Introduction to Political Theory

(Marvins-Underground-K-12) #1
rights in more than one country. Heater presses the case for a fluid and flexible
notion of citizenship, stating that membership of a voluntary association in civil
society can qualify a person for citizenship, so that we can legitimately speak of a
person as the citizen of a church, a trade union, a club, an environmental group,
etc. (1999: 121). Heater insists that civil society offers a useful and even superior
option to traditional state membership (1999: 121).
It goes without saying that the notion of a world or global citizen cannot prescribe
rights and responsibilities with the precision that citizenships set out in written (or
indeed unwritten) constitutions can and do. Nor, as Heater shows at some length,
is the notion of a world citizen a new one. He gives examples of cosmopolitanism
in ancient Greek thought, and quotes the words of the ancient Roman, Marcus
Aurelius, that ‘where-ever a man lives, he lives as a citizen of the World-City’ (1999:
The celebrated Kantian argument for world government is for a loose
confederation of states. Heater is sympathetic to the notion of a global citizen,
writing that ‘a fully-fledged modern world-state’ might well require ‘a transfer of
civil allegiance from the state to the universal polity’ (1999: 151). He argues that
‘political citizenship, so intimately reliant on the possession of the means of force
by the state, must remain absorbed in the state as the necessary catalyst for its
vitality’ (1999: 152). The ideal of cosmopolitan citizenship is the condition in which
all human beings have equal recognition as co-legislators within a ‘global kingdom
of ends’ (Linklater, 1999: 56). Soysal even insists that the identity of personhood
stressed in human rights discourse takes us beyond both citizenship and the state.
National and citizenship identities are, in her view, unthinkable without the state
(1994: 165).

130 Part 1 Classical ideas

  • Citizenship has traditionally been seen as
    membership of the state.

  • This has linked citizenship to exclusion
    whether of slaves, women or the

  • The problem of exclusion has been
    addressed by developing a concept of
    citizenship that embraces not merely political
    and legal, but social rights as well. The latter
    have proved controversial and the New Right
    has argued that the welfare state creates a
    ‘dependency’ that undermines the autonomy

of the citizen. The idea of giving all citizens a
basic income as of right could, it has been
argued, enhance citizenship.

  • Even in liberal societies where women have
    acquired political rights, it is arguable that
    they have been confronted with a number of
    barriers preventing them from exercising their

  • Cosmopolitans argue that citizenship should
    extend to the world as a whole, so that
    people are not merely citizens of a particular
    country, but citizens of the globe.

The argument so far...
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