European Citizenship: The Relevance of the American Model

Denis Lacorne

in The Federal Vision

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245000
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599996 | DOI:
 European Citizenship: The Relevance of the American Model

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Draws an analogy between the threats posed by social heterogeneity in the USA and the threats posed by differing national allegiances in the EU. The author reminds USA that core political identities can vary over time and that early conceptions of citizenship in the USA focussed almost exclusively on state, not federal, citizenship; in his view, within unitary states communities of identity are fine so long as individuals do not conflate these with their core political identity. In a federal system, the problem or challenge is exactly that of belonging to several political communities. Lacorne argues that pure constitutional patriotism will not suffice, since individuals require a substantial citizenship; what is needed instead are ‘common and concrete political experiences’ that would give rise to ‘a new European ethics of responsibility’. The two sections of the chapter are: The Irrelevance of the American Model of Federal Citizenship; and The Relevance of the American Multicultural Model.

Keywords: American citizenship; citizenship; communities of identity; constitutional patriotism; ethics of responsibility; European citizenship; EU; federal citizenship; federal systems; models of citizenship; multicultural citizenship; national allegiances; political identity; social heterogeneity; state citizenship; USA

Chapter.  5255 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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