On Constitutional Membership

Marcus Llanque

in The Twilight of Constitutionalism?

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585007
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723469 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

On Constitutional Membership

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The allegiance that moderns feel towards the democratic nation state is now being placed in question by the claims of postnationalism, supranationalism, and cosmopolitanism. But what does affiliation to the democratic nation state actually mean? Although the term used to mark this affiliation is commonly that of ‘citizen’, modern constitutions tend to neglect the concept: they often employ the term to point out a distinction between people and citizens, but rarely define what citizenship entails. Constitutions only hint at the role of the citizen, and the entire picture is revealed only through a mosaic consisting of legislative acts and executive orders as well as constitutional laws. The task must be to draw a more complete picture of what constitutional democracies have in mind when they refer to individual actors as ‘citizens’. The underlying idea of this chapter is that the model of citizenship applied by modern constitutions has emerged from the republican tradition of political thinking, and this can best be described as the constitutional membership model.

Keywords: citizens; citizenship; constitutional membership; democracy; constitutions

Chapter.  8668 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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