Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Interest in citizenship has never been higher. But what does it mean to be a citizen in a modern, complex community? Richard Bellamy approaches the subject of citizenship from a political perspective and, in clear and accessible language, addresses the complexities behind this highly topical issue. - ;Interest in citizenship has never been higher. But what does it mean to be a citizen of a modern, complex community? Why is citizenship important? Can we create citizenship, and can we test for it?. In this fascinating Very Short Introduction , Richard Bellamy explores the answers to these questions and more in a clear and accessible way. He approaches the subject from a political perspective, to address the complexities behind the major topical issues. Discussing the main models of citizenship, exploring how ideas of citizenship have changed through time from ancient Greece to the present, and examining notions of rights and democracy, he reveals the irreducibly. political nature of citizenship today. - ;Citizenship is a vast subject for a short introduction, but Richard Bellamy has risen to the challenge with aplomb. - Mark Garnett, TLS;[Bellamy] advances a distinct and provocative view of citizenship. - Mark Garnett, TLS;One can only hope that well-argued...tracts like this will remind govenments and voters that citizenship involves duties as well as rights. - Mark Garnett, TLS
Great little intro
By Almelle - November 15, 2009
This is a great little introduction for students and other curious people on what modern citizenship is, where it came from, and how its meaning have changed in response to globalism and multiculturalism.
Bellamy starts by discussing the Greek participatory model of citizenship, and the Roman model of rights-based membership in an empire. He outlines the effects of race, ethnicity, and gender on membership and belonging, and discusses the tensions between the idea of universal human rights and the necessary local level of enforcement by sovereign states.
Last, he suggests the need for a more participation-based model of democratic citizenship. This is a great foundation for further study and discussion.
A modern reflection on citizenship
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - May 15, 2009
The problem of citizenship is as old as politics itself, since it deals with the most fundamental political question: who gets to participate in politics and to what extent. In fact, as this book shows, citizenship existed in many forms even before politics as we think of it did, and will likely outlive it. Richard Bellamy takes us through history of what citizenship meant in different cultures, and how different models of citizenship dominated under different political arrangements. He draws a distinction between ancient Greek participatory citizenship, in which all able-bodied citizens of the city-state were expected to participate in political affairs, and a more legal citizenship that was the predominant form in Roman state. In a more modern context, Bellamy does not advocate the dissemination and abandonment of nation-states, but recognizes their importance for the sake competitiveness between different political arrangements. He also stresses the importance of democracy for the... read more
Excellent primer on an important topic
By Thomas W. Sulcer - July 3, 2009
That the subject of citizenship, itself, might serve as a field of academic inquiry caught me by surprise. I think citizenship is vital for understanding our predicament in 21st century America. Unfortunately I didn't get time to finish reading this book so I feel constrained to give it five stars and comment on what I read (the first 50 pages) which was well-written, insightful, instructive. If and when I finish this book, I'll update this review.
Richard Bellamy sees three components to citizenship:
(1) membership -- who is a citizen? He thinks citizenship is linked with democracy, since democracies require broad acceptance, legitimacy, trust, and solidarity among citizens to function properly.
(2) rights -- I was somewhat confused about his sense of this term, but I like his idea that citizenship is a "right to have rights" although I think there's more to it than that. I have a sense of a right as a sphere of possible future action that others... read more
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