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Contemporary Citizenship: Four Types

Abstract

The paper begins with an examination of three ideal types citizenship which are not necessarily mutual exclusive. The first type is national citizenship, typically associated with ethno-nationalism. The second form is social citizenship or ‘welfare citizenship’ refers to the creation of social rights and is closely connected to civil-society institutions rather than to the state or market. The third form of citizenship identifies the citizen with participation in the work force emphasizing self-reliance and autonomy. In this discussion, I argue that with economic globalization and the development of neo-liberal strategies the various forms of citizenship have converged towards a new model of passive citizenship in which the state is or has withdrawn from commitment to full employment and the provision of social security, especially universal provision of welfare services, and civil-society institutions have been eroded. The result is the emergence of the apolitical,isolated citizen as consumer. The fourth model of citizenship presupposes a consumer society, a weak state and the decline of civic institutions, where the passive citizen becomes a consumer of privatized goods and services. The rise of a fourth model of citizenship – the consumer-citizen – can be interpreted as a logical consequence of financialization.

Open access
Critical global citizenship: contextualising citizenship and globalisation

Abstract

This introductory paper to our first issue provides reflection on the concept of critical global citizenship at both theoretical and practical levels. We maintain that ‘citizenship’, irrespective of its level of articulation (i.e. national, international, global, etc.) remains an issue that reflects a status, a feeling and practices that are intrinsically interlinked. As a legal status, formal citizenship allows individuals to form a sense of belonging within a political community and, therefore, empowers them to act and perform their citizenship within the spatial domains of the nation-state. Critical global citizenship, asks these same individuals not so much to neglect these notions of belonging and practice to a particular locale, but to extend such affinities beyond the territorial boundaries of their formal national membership and to think critically and ethically about their local, national and global relationship with those who are different from themselves. Making a case for a critical global citizenship, however, also requires acknowledging material inequalities that affect the most vulnerable (i.e. migrants, asylum seekers, those experiencing poverty, etc.) and which mean that efforts to cultivate global citizenship orientations to address social injustice are not enacted on an even playing field. As such, a critical global citizenship approach espouses a performative citizenship that is at once democratic and ethical, as well as being aimed at achieving social peace and sustainable justice, but which is also affected by material conditions of inequality that require political solutions and commitment from individuals, states, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations.

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The Decline and Resurgence of Turkish Islamism: The Story of Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP

Abstract

For decades, Turkish Islamists have failed to attract the votes of large sections of society and remained marginal. As a result of this failure to come to power, and due to domestic and international constraints and windows of opportunities, they have declared that they have jettisoned Islamism. Many Turkish Muslims whose religious disposition was shaped by the pluralistic urban Ottoman experience and small-town Anatolian traditionalism, and by the contesting currents of cosmopolitan pluralism and rural social conservatism, voted in favour of these former Islamists who have become “Muslim Democrats”. This paper elaborates on the genealogy of Turkish Islamists and their political trajectories and argues that when the forces and constraints of domestic and external social, political and economic conditions disappeared and the opportunities derived from being Muslim Democrats no longer existed, the former Islamists easily returned to their original ideology, showing that despite assertions to the contrary their respect for democracy and pluralism had not truly been internalised. This paper also aims to demonstrate that similar to other authoritarian populists, Erdoganists perceive the state and its leader as more important than anything else and as being above everything else, which has culminated in a personality cult and sanctification of the state. As long as Turkey’s economy continued to boom, almost everyone was happy that Turkey could readily market the “Muslim Democrats” story to the whole world for a long period as a major success story, or as an “exemplary Muslim country” or “model”. Yet, Middle Eastern elites and Western forces got carried away and learnt the hard way just how naive their view was in perhaps the first great transformation movement of the twenty-first century – the Arab Spring. Likewise, the Turkish Spring turned all too quickly towards autumn and then winter.

Open access
Intercultural Public Intellectual Engagement

Abstract

The article firstly examines the different conceptions of dialogue and reason within political theory, especially in the work of Rawls. Secondly we explore multicultural political theorists who have been motivated less by abstract reasoning by a sole reasoner or identical identity-less individuals and more by dialogue. For such multiculturalists, the principles of social justice are not known in advance or simply by reason, but are arrived at by conflict and learning, by dialogue and negotiation in circumstances of inequality and minority-claims making. In response to the multiculturalists, interculturalists allege that multiculturalism is too focused on the macro and the conflictual, and dialogue should be redirected to the micro and the cooperative. Although I welcome the interculturalists’ focus on micro-relations, this does not require abandoning the idea of dialogue at the level of political controversies and public discourses. It is not an either–or choice because groups and intergroup problems exist in society and cannot be simply handled at a micro level of contact, interaction and sociability. The kind of macro-level dialogue that I am speaking of can also be understood as a form of public intellectual engagement that can contribute to societal dialogues.

Open access
National Identity Formation in Pakistan: Analysis of the Anti-Secular Narrative

Abstract

Soon after its declaration as an Islamic Republic in 1956, Islamists have experienced numerous ups and downs in Pakistan. Islamists not only try to maintain the status quo of the Islamic state but also endeavour to expand the scope of sharia. Despite insignificant achievements in elections, Islamists have mostly been able to dictate civilian and military governments in matters of national identity. One of the greatest challenges for the promotion of pluralism is the Islamists’ anti-secular narrative, which holds significant backing from both the civil and the military elites. The goal of this paper is to analyse such narrative with reference to Pakistan’s continuous struggle for national identity. ‘The analyses propose that anti-secular voices are occupying centre stage in Pakistan, leaving little room for diverse opinions. Anti-secular groups use violence as a tool to silence any opposition against their ideology for Pakistan, which is evident by regular attacks on not only the religious minorities but also the moderate or liberal Muslim thinkers. The conflict over national identity between extremists and moderates is also one of the main causes of rising violent extremism in Pakistan.

Open access
Reclaiming Citizenship in the Post-Democratic Condition

Abstract

This article reviews the central problematique of citizenship, arguing that the challenges imposed by neoliberal globalisation involve the loss of political, social and civil rights. By negating the mediations performed by citizenship between the people and the state, post-democracy renders citizenship meaningless. The article traces two main responses to this, a reactionary and a progressive one, none of which can address the problems of citizenship. The grains of a new response are found in three developments: a new ontology of the citizen, brought into being through digital acts; the existence of dual power, creating new forms of governance and social reproduction from below; and between these, the development of new procedures that directly engage with state power. Taken together, these considerations indicate a new possibility for the radicalisation of citizenship rather than a return to the former state of affairs.

Open access