Chapter

Conceptions of Citizenship

Andrew Mason

in Living Together as Equals

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199606245
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741562 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606245.003.0002
Conceptions of Citizenship

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Citizenship is a relationship in which those involved enjoy rights or entitlements within a common framework of protection and provision, and incur special obligations, duties or responsibilities to each other. This chapter distinguishes a number of different conceptions which put flesh on the bones of this core concept of citizenship, focusing in particular on what are labelled the justice account and the equal membership account. Roughly speaking, the justice account regards citizenship as a vehicle for delivering justice, whereas the equal membership account supposes that the value of citizenship consists in belonging to a political community in which one has equal standing and is treated as an equal in the political process and beyond. The distinction between the justice and equal membership accounts is not simply a refashioning of the distinction between liberal and republican conceptions. There are points of contact here, but the contrast drawn cuts across this traditional way of thinking about citizenship.

Keywords: citizenship; liberalism; republicanism; political community; justice; membership; belonging

Chapter.  15533 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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