Migration, security and European citizenship

Authored by: Elspeth Guild

Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies

Print publication date:  June  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415519724
eBook ISBN: 9780203102015
Adobe ISBN: 9781136237966


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European citizenship as a legal status only came into existence in 1993. 1 It is a particularly interesting form of citizenship, because, while it calls itself a citizenship , 2 it is integrated into law as a citizenship, it has a bill of rights which is intended foremost for the citizens, 3 it does not, however, have a state. If there is one thing on which all commentators about the European Union (EU) agree (and there may only be one thing), it is that the EU is not a state. It is not a federal state; it is simply not a state. It may have over 500 million citizens, a quasi-constitution, a bill of rights and other state-like manifestations, but the EU is categorically and absolutely not a state. So then what does this mean for our understanding of citizenship? Isin has examined the issue of citizens without nations – what does it mean to think about a foundation for citizenship beyond the idea of the birthright in which the idea of fraternity is implicit? Starting from the perspective of three of the great social scientists of the twentieth century, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault, he examines their construction of the citizen through community, society, and state and suggests new approaches to belonging (Isin 2012). This is a fascinating and illuminating study which rightly deserves the attention which it is receiving. What it does not anticipate is European citizenship.

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