Lynn Dobson
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Citizenship I
Membership, privilege, and place
in Supranational Citizenship
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Chapter 1 provides a working definition of the concept of citizenship, prior to its contested conceptions, and a selective critical overview of some current approaches to its theory. Citizenship denotes the relationship between an individual and a political locus, a relationship specifiable in three domains: reciprocal obligation, inter-subjective belonging, and action on matters of common concern. Our standard thinking about citizenship has assumed a nation-state, and has difficulties in conceptualising a non-national citizenship. Furthermore, many understandings of citizenship see it as privilege-conferring, a view to be rejected here. The chapter discusses the enduring influence of Marshall within this tradition of thinking about citizenship, and claims that the two assumptions on which his conception was predicated – that citizenship is the qualifying condition for entry into systems of rights, and that the only political community guaranteeing rights is the state – no longer hold. Conceptions of citizenship now need to notice the development of international human rights regimes, including the extension of rights to non-citizens.

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