Theorizing Citizenship

Edited by Ronald Beiner

Subjects: Political Science
Series: SUNY series in Political Theory: Contemporary Issues
Paperback : 9780791423363, 352 pages, December 1994
Hardcover : 9780791423356, 352 pages, January 1995

Table of contents


Introduction: Why Citizenship Constitutes a Theoretical Problem in the Last Decade of the Twentieth Century

1. J. G. A. Pocock: The Ideal of Citizenship Since Classical Times

2. Michael Ignatieff: The Myth of Citizenship

3. George Armstrong Kelly: Who Needs a Theory of Citizenship?

4. Richard E. Flathman: Citizenship and Authority: A Chastened View of Citizenship

5. Michael Walzer: The Civil Society Argument

6. Iris Marion Young: Polity and Group Difference: A Critique of the Ideal of University Citizenship

7. Alasdair MacIntyre: Is Patriotism a Virtue?

8. Joseph H. Carens: Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders

9. Jurgen Habermas: Citizenship and National Identity: Some Reflections on the Future of Europe

10. Will Kymlicka and Wayne Norman: Return of the Citizen: A Survey of Recent Work on Citizenship Theory



This is an anthology of essays on citizenship by such well-known theorists as Habermas, Walzer, Flathman, Iris Marion Young, MacIntyre, Ignatieff, and George Armstrong Kelly.


In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in the theme of citizenship among political philosophers. Any attempt to reflect theoretically on this topic must address a host of vital questions: how to distinguish between "insiders" and "outsiders" in a normatively defensible way; how to secure for all individuals within a political society a sense of full membership in the social and political life of that society; and how to keep allegiance to the political community durable in the face of mounting pressures, domestic and international.

The need to rethink the issue of citizenship has been given special urgency by incisive theoretical challenges to liberalism within the academy as well as practical challenges associated with continuing flare-ups of modern nationalism and ethnic strife, implying challenges, both localist and globalist, to the integrity of the modern state.

Therefore, political theorists must once again explore the basic problem of what binds citizens together into a shared political community. Theoretical essays by such well- known scholars as Habermas, Walzer, Flathman, Iris Marion Young, MacIntyre, Ignatieff, and George Armstrong Kelly offer a sampling of some of the best articles on this crucial topic.

Ronald Beiner is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His book What's the Matter with Liberalism? recently won the Canadian Political Science Association's Macpherson Prize.


"Professor Beiner has collected an excellent set of essays on a topic that is once again commanding widespread attention among political thinkers and policy-makers. As a set, the essays are historically rich, analytically rigorous, and highly provocative. " — Richard Dagger, Arizona State University

"This is a collection of first-rate articles on an important topic—citizenship—by a group of very well-known and highly respected political theorists. Bringing them together into one volume is a great service. " — Bernard Yack, University of Wisconsin, Madison