Advertisement

Subjectivity

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 367–388 | Cite as

Citizenship in flux: The figure of the activist citizen

  • Engin F Isin
Original Article

Abstract

Throughout the twentieth century the figure of citizenship that has been dominant since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has begun to change. We have witnessed the emergence of new rights including ecological, sexual and indigenous rights as well as blurring of the boundaries between human and civil, political and social rights and the articulation of rights by (and to) cities, regions and across states. We have witnessed the birth of new ‘acts of citizenship’: both organized and spontaneous protests to include situationist and carnivalesque forms. We have also witnessed the emergence of ‘activist’ international courts (and judges), as well as new media and social networking as sites of struggles. How subjects act to become citizens and claim citizenship has thus substantially changed. This article interprets these developments as heralding a new figure of citizenship, and begins the important task of developing a new vocabulary by which it can be understood.

Keywords

activist citizenship sites scales rights 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I thank the audiences at Central European University, Loughborough University, Durham University, Leeds University and Oxford University who provided challenging responses to earlier drafts of this article. The two anonymous reviewers provided insightful and helpful comments. I also thank Rutvica Andrijasevic who was a superb editor and, beyond discovering an early version of this article languishing in my hard disk, she provided a perceptive reading and precise comments. I am also grateful to Bridget Anderson for her close reading of an earlier draft and very useful comments. I am most grateful to Vicki Squire who provided insightful and incisive criticisms of a late draft. Responding to her comments made it undoubtedly a much stronger article.

References

  1. Aleinikoff, T.A. and Klusmeyer, D.B. (eds.) (2000) From Migrants to Citizens: Membership in a Changing World. Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
  2. Archibugi, D. (2008) The Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arendt, H. (1951) The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  4. Arendt, H. (1958) The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Arendt, H. (1969) On violence. Crises of the Republic. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, pp. 105–198.Google Scholar
  6. Arendt, H. (2005) Understanding and politics. Essays in Understanding, 1930–1954: Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism. New York: Schocken Books, pp. 307–327.Google Scholar
  7. Bakhtin, M. (1993) Toward a Philosophy of the Act. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  8. Balibar, E. (2004) We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bassel, L. (2008) Citizenship as interpellation: Refugee women and the state. Government & Opposition 43 (2): 293–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bauböck, R. (1994) Transnational Citizenship: Membership and Rights in International Migration. Aldershot Brookfield, UK: E. Elgar.Google Scholar
  11. Beneduce, R. (2008) Undocumented bodies, burned identities: Refugees, Sans Papiers, Harraga – When things fall apart. Social Science Information 47 (4): 505–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benhabib, S. (2004) The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bennett, J.F. (1995) The Act Itself. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bigo, D. (2002) Security and immigration: Toward a critique of the government of unease. Alternatives, Special Issue: 63–92.Google Scholar
  15. Black, A. (1984) Guilds and Civil Society in European Political Thought from the Twelfth Century to the Present. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Body-Gendrot, S. and Martiniello, M. (2000) Minorities in European Cities: The Dynamics of Social Integration and Social Exclusion at the Neighbourhood Level. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Butler, J. (1988) Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory. Theatre Journal 40 (4): 519–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Castles, S. and Davidson, A. (2000) Citizenship and Migration: Globalization and the Politics of Belonging. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Crosby, J.F. (1990) Speech act theory and phenomenology. In: A. Burkhardt (ed.) Speech Acts, Meaning, and Intentions: Critical Approaches to the Philosophy of John R. Searle. Berlin, Germany: W. de Gruyter, pp. 62–88.Google Scholar
  20. DuBois, J.M. (1995) Judgement and Sachverhalt: An Introduction to Adolf Reinach's Phenomenological Realism. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dubois, L. (2000) La République Métissée: Citizenship, colonialism, and the borders of French history. Cultural Studies 14 (1): 15–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fahrmeir, A. (2007) Citizenship: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Concept. New Haven, CO: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Falk, R. (2000) The decline of citizenship in an era of globalization. Citizenship Studies 4 (1): 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ferrera, M. (2003) European integration and national social citizenship changing boundaries, new structuring? Comparative Political Studies 36 (6): 611–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Flores, W.V. and Benmayor, R. (1997) Latino Cultural Citizenship: Claiming Identity, Space, and Rights. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  26. Freeden, M. (2005) What should the ‘Political’ in political theory explore? Journal of Political Philosophy 13 (2): 113–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Frug, G.E. (1980) The city as a legal concept. Harvard Law Review 93 (6): 1057–1154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. García Canclini, N. (2001) Consumers and Citizens: Globalization and Multicultural Conflicts. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  29. Gardner, J.F. (1993) Being a Roman Citizen. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Hansen, R. and Weil, P. (2000) Towards a European Nationality: Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality Law in the EU. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Heater, D.B. (1990) Citizenship: The Civic Ideal in World History, Politics, and Education. London: Longman Group.Google Scholar
  32. Hutchings, K. and Dannreuther, R. (eds.) (1999) Cosmopolitan Citizenship. New York: St. Martin's Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Huysmans, J. (2006) The Politics of Insecurity: Fear, Migration, and Asylum in the EU. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Huysmans, J., Dobson, A. and Prokhovnik, R. (eds.) (2006) The Politics of Protection: Sites of Insecurity and Political Agency. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Isin, E.F. (2002a) Being Political: Genealogies of Citizenship. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  36. Isin, E.F. (2002b) Citizenship after orientalism. In: E.F. Isin and B.S. Turner (eds.) Handbook of Citizenship Studies. London: Sage, pp. 117–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Isin, E.F. (2005) Engaging, being, political. Political Geography 24: 373–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Isin, E.F. (2007) City.State: Critique of scalar thought. Citizenship Studies 11 (2): 211–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Isin, E.F. (2008) Theorizing acts of citizenship. In: E.F. Isin and G.M. Nielsen (eds.) Acts of Citizenship. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  40. Isin, E.F. and Rygiel, K. (2007) Abject spaces: Frontiers, zones, camps. In: E. Dauphinee and C. Masters (eds.) Logics of Biopower and the War on Terror. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, pp. 181–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Isin, E.F. and Siemiatycki, M. (2002) Making space for mosques: Claiming urban citizenship. In: S. Razack (ed.) Race, Space and the Law: The Making of a White Settler Society. Toronto, Canada: Between the Lines, pp. 185–209.Google Scholar
  42. Isin, E.F. and Turner, B.S. (eds.) (2002) Handbook of Citizenship Studies. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  43. Isin, E.F. and Wood, P.K. (1999) Citizenship and Identity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Jacobson, D. (1996) Rights Across Borders: Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Linklater, A. (1998) Cosmopolitan citizenship. Citizenship Studies 2 (1): 23–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mann, M. (1987) Ruling class strategies and citizenship. Sociology 21 (3): 339–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Manville, P.B. (1990) The Origins of Citizenship in Ancient Athens. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Marshall, T.H. (1949) Citizenship and social class. In: G. Shafir (ed.) The Citizenship Debates: A Reader. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 93–111.Google Scholar
  49. McNevin, A. (2006) Political belonging in a neoliberal era: The struggle of the San-Papiers. Citizenship Studies 10 (2): 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nietzsche, F. (1881) Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality, Translated by R.J. Hollingdale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  51. Nyers, P. (2003) Abject cosmopolitanism: The politics of protection in the anti-deportation movement. Third World Quarterly 24 (6): 1069–1093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. OECD. (2009) International migration outlook 2009, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/els/migration/imo, accessed 6 July 2009.
  53. Ossman, S. (2007) Introduction. In: S. Ossman (ed.) Places We Share: Migration, Subjectivity, and Global Mobility. Lanham, MD: Lexington, pp. 1–16.Google Scholar
  54. Parsons, T. and Shils, E.A. (eds.) (1959) Toward a General Theory of Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Penninx, R. (2004) Citizenship in European Cities: Immigrants, Local Politics and Integration Policies. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  56. Poggi, G. (1978) The Development of the Modern State: A Sociological Introduction. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Poggi, G. (1990) The State: Its Nature, Development, and Prospects. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  58. Rancière, J. (2004) Who is the subject of the rights of man? The South Atlantic Quarterly 103 (2/3): 297–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Reinach, A. (1983) The apriori foundations of civil law. Aletheia 3: 1–142.Google Scholar
  60. Reynolds, S. (1997) Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe, 900–1300, 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Rodríguez, E.G. (2003) ‘We need your support, but the struggle is primarily ours’: On representation, migration and the Sans Papiers movement. Feminist Review 77: 152–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sartre, J.-P. (1957) Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology, Translated by H.E. Barnes. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  63. Sassen, S. (1996) Whose city is it? Globalization and the formation of new claims. Public Culture 8: 205–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Schattle, H. (2008) The Practices of Global Citizenship. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  65. Scholtz, C.S. (2006) Negotiating Claims: The Emergence of Indigenous Land Claim Negotiation Policies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. New York; London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. Schuck, P.H. (1998) Citizens, Strangers, and in-Betweens: Essays on Immigration and Citizenship. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  67. Searle, J.R. (1969) Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sherwin-White, A.N. (1973) The Roman Citizenship, 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  69. Smith, B. (1990) Towards a history of speech act theory. In: A. Burkhardt (ed.) Speech Acts, Meaning, and Intentions: Critical Approaches to the Philosophy of John R. Searle. Berlin, Germany: W. de Gruyter, pp. 29–61.Google Scholar
  70. Smith, R.M. (1997) Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in US History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Soysal, Y. (1994) Limits of Citizenship: Migrants and Postnational Membership in Europe. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  72. Soysal, Y. (1997) Changing parameters of citizenship and claims-making: Organized Islam in European public spheres. Theory and Society 26 (4): 509–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stout, R. (2005) Action. Montreal, Canada and Kingston, UK: McGill-Queen's University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Strayer, J.R. (1970) On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Torpey, J.C. (2000) The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship, and the State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Tully, J. (2002) Political philosophy as a critical activity. Political Theory 30 (4): 533–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Turner, B.S. (1990) Outline of a theory of citizenship. Sociology 24 (2): 189–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Turner, B.S. (1993) Contemporary problems in the theory of citizenship. In: B.S. Turner (ed.) Citizenship and Social Theory. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  79. Ware, R. (1973) Acts and action. The Journal of Philosophy 70 (13): 403–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Weber, M. (1921a) Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, Translated by G. Roth and C. Wittich. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  81. Weber, M. (1921b) The City. New York: Free Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  82. Yegenoglu, M. (2005) Cosmopolitanism and nationalism in a globalized world. Ethnic and Racial Studies 28 (1): 103–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Young, I.M. (1989) Polity and group difference: A critique of the ideal of universal citizenship. Ethics 99 (January): 250–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Young, I.M. (1990) Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  85. Žižek, S. (2005) Against human rights. New Left Review 34 (July – August): 115–131.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Engin F Isin
    • 1
  1. 1.Politics and International Studies (POLIS), The Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Personalised recommendations