Book

The Color of Citizenship

Diego A. von Vacano

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746668
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932337 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746668.001.0001
The Color of Citizenship

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Why is race a potent political phenomenon, when it is a superficial human characteristic, if it exists at all? The history of political philosophy has not dealt adequately with this question and we need new paradigms to answer it. The traditional European perspective on race tends to be a domination paradigm, for it generally sees non-European peoples as inferior. At the same time, the U.S. view of race, while a vast step forward in understanding the centrality of race to politics, citizenship, and the state, also has important limits. It helps us see the importance of the African American experience, but tends to lead toward a dualistic paradigm in which white-black relations form the core principle of race. We need to examine the tradition of Latin American political thought to move beyond these existing paradigms in a world of great ethnoracial diversity. This is because race has played a central role in the Latin American approaches to political theory. While many strands within it cannot be accepted for analytical or moral reasons, one strand can be traced that allows the reconceptualization of race as inherently mixed, unstable, fluid, and politically potent. I call this the synthetic paradigm of race, which emerges out of a close of study of four key thinkers in the Hispanic tradition: the Spanish friar Bartolomé de Las Casas, the Venezuelan statesman Simón Bolívar, his compatriot the sociologist Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, and José Vasconcelos, the Mexican philosopher.

Keywords: race; domination; diversity; citizenship; modernity; synthetic; political theory; history; Latin America

Book.  240 pages. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Color of Citizenship

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Paradox of Empire in The Color of Citizenship

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Mixed into Unity in The Color of Citizenship

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Race and Nation in The Color of Citizenship

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The Citizenship of Beauty in The Color of Citizenship

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Conclusion in The Color of Citizenship

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