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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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Concepts of Citizenship in Eastern and Western Europe

Abstract

The classical meaning of citizenship evokes a nation-state with a well-defined territory for its nationals, where national identity and sovereignty play a key role. Global developments are challenging the traditional nation-state and open a new stage in the history of citizenship. Transnational citizenship involving dual and multiple citizenships has become more and more accepted in Europe. Numerous scholars envisaged a post-national development where the nation-state no longer plays a key role. While scholarly research tended to focus on developments in Western Europe, a dynamic development also took place in Eastern Europe following the collapse of communism. Dual citizenship was introduced in most Eastern European countries, but its purpose was to strengthen the nation by giving the ethnic kin abroad citizenship and non-resident voting rights. In Western Europe, the right of migrants to citizenship has been expanded throughout the years in the hope that this would result in their better integration into society. Eastern Europe and Western Europe operate with different concepts of citizenship because of their diverging historical traditions and current concerns. The concept of nation and who belong to the national community play a key role in the type of citizenship that they advocate.

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Integration Processes and Dual Citizenship

Integration Processes and Dual Citizenship

When relations of citizenship are regulated, it is very important to assess new actual situations, as well as the latest needs of society and the state and to react to them adequately. It is important that the Law on Citizenship defines which persons are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, and in what situations a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may be also a citizen of another state, since citizenship is not only a formal legal category, but it is also always inseparably related with the issues of sovereignty, national identity, political order, and the rights and freedoms of persons. While regulating the citizenship relations from the restoration of the State of Lithuania in 1918, the view was upheld that, as a rule, a citizen of Lithuania may not also be a citizen of another state at the same time, and that dual citizenship was allowed only in individual cases established in the law. The development of legislative regulation of citizenship after the 1992 Constitution entered into effect shows that legislation gradually widened the circle of persons who were allowed to be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and of another state at the same time. In 2006, when a legal dispute arose regarding the compliance of some provisions of the Law on Citizenship with the Constitution, the Law on Citizenship used to contain the legal regulation whereby the absolute majority of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, regardless of where they lived - in Lithuania or another foreign state - were allowed to be citizens of another state at the same time as well. By its ruling of 13 November 2006, the Constitutional Court recognised such legal regulation as being in conflict with the Constitution. If the legislator were really committed to following the provision that dual citizenship may be a widespread phenomenon - and this would be so if, alongside the cases specified in the draft Law on Citizenship, one would provide that also the persons who left Lithuania after 11 March 1990 are allowed to have dual citizenship—it would be necessary to correspondingly amend the provisions of Article 12 of the Constitution. This can be done by referendum only. No matter how the legislative regulation of the relations of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania will be amended in the future, one must pay heed to the provisions of the Constitution, including those which entrench equality of rights of all persons and non-discrimination on grounds of ethnicity.

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Battling for citizenship
A case study of Somali settlement in Lieksa, Finland

Abstract

The article addresses the disjunction between the theory and practice of citizenship through a case study concerning the settlement of Somali refugees in Lieksa, a small town in eastern Finland. We use the concept ‘acts of citizenship’ to highlight how the Somalis in Lieksa have worked toward inclusion in the Finnish society. We also highlight how contested the citizenship position of even members of the Finnish society who, by law, are citizens and/ or legal residents can be. The attempts to undo Somalis’ acts of citizenship are presented as a continuum on which racist violence represents the most aggravated, and rare forms of resistance by locals, while more subtle forms of everyday racism, such as disparaging looks and Internet slander, represent the more common acts performed to prevent Somalis from constituting themselves and acting as citizens.

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Values and Attitudes of Nordic Language Teachers Towards Second Language Education

Summary

Issues in minority education in relation to citizenship have received more attention lately, because of new requirements for language testing in several countries (Bevelander, Fernandez & Hellström, 2011, p. 101). The acquisition of citizenship is more decisive for immigrant participation in society than the duration of stay in the country (Bevelander, Fernandez & Hellström, 2011). The second language is crucial for active citizenship and integration in this perspective. Most countries in the EU (except Ireland and Sweden) have language requirements for citizenship and the use of language testing becomes increasingly common among the countries that receive migrants. The rapid development highlights the need for new international studies on the relationship between citizenship and conditions for second language learning. The goal of the recent study is to compare premises, perspectives and scales of values of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish language educators, related to the requirements for immigrant citizenship. Previous studies (Björklund & Liubiniené, 2004) indicate that there are major differences in value systems even between the neighbouring countries. To reach the objective of the present study, interviews were conducted with language educators in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The results have revealed two opposing patterns. The values of Swedish informants show a wide-ranging variation, while the Danish and Norwegian data on values are consistently similar. The results raise further questions about the effects caused by differences in values among language educators when comparing the countries and call for a further verification of the data in a more extended study, including Lithuania and other Baltic states.

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Dual Citizenship in an Era of Securitisation:
The Case of Denmark

Abstract

This article uses the case of Denmark to critically discuss key assumptions in the theoretical literature on dual citizenship. When Denmark surprisingly accepted dual citizenship in 2015, the decision reflected two distinct lines of argument: first, accepting dual citizenship would allow Danes living abroad to keep their Danish citizenship; second, because it is considered illegitimate to make people stateless, allowing dual citizenship would simultaneously allow for citizenship revocation of dual citizens who engage in or support acts of terror. This rationale stands in striking contrast to how dual citizenship has been previously theorised. The gradual acceptance of dual citizenship in Western countries since the early 1990s has been seen either as a symptom of a post-national era or as a pragmatic adjustment to the transnational realities of international migration. By contrast, the case of Denmark shows that dual citizenship may serve as a lever to protect the political community of the nation-state from terrorism and, as such, function as a tool of securitisation.

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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.

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Beyond Representation
Newspapers and Citizenship Participation in the Case of a Minority Ethnic Group

Abstract

Processes of defining citizenship become particularly exposed in a media context, since this is an arena where a broad range of actors get their voice heard. The aim of this contribution is to explore the claims-making activities by different actors in stories about the Roma in Finnish newspapers. I want to elucidate the access to the mediated space and provide some examples of how citizenship claims are raised and contextualised. The empirical study is based content analysis and qualitative text analysis of articles from 1990-2003 in both the largest Finnish-language and the largest Swedish-language daily newspapers (Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet). While Romani voices do have the possibility to contest dominant views in newspaper stories related to the Roma, this article argues, firstly, for a diversified coverage on Romani issues and, secondly, for increasing dialogue between a broader group of actors.

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Intra-European Migrants and the Question of Integration:
Citizenship In The Lives Of Finnish Migrants In Europe

Abstract

Citizenship is defined in terms of national contexts, institutions, or practices. Apart from noting one’s membership in a certain polity, citizenship can be understood to have – at least – three meanings as follows: it can signify access, identification, and practice. This article examines these three dimensions based on the experiences of highly skilled Finns living in other European Union member states. Do they adopt the legal citizenship of the new country to gain access to legal and civic rights? Do they begin to identify with and assimilate to their new home country? Is citizenship played out in the everyday life as practice? The article concludes that thanks to European citizenship, all three interpretations are present at the same time.

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Limits Of Liberal Individual Integration:
Comparing Australian, British and Canadian Citizenship Guides

Abstract

This article examines conceptual and policy limits underlying citizenship guides to prepare immigrants to take citizenship tests as part of their integration process in liberal democratic countries. The first section defines liberal individual integration and constructs three ideal types of liberal national, international and transnational individual integration. The second section applies these types to six Australian, British and Canadian citizenship guides, showing the predominance of liberal national individual integration. The argument is that this result, combined with citizenship oaths and ceremonies, supports the claim that citizenship tests are illiberal.

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