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Introduction: Citizenship, the State and Ideology in a Critical, Pragmatic and Realist Lens

  • Andy Scerri
Chapter

Abstract

In some ways motivated by Andrew Dobson’s claim that ‘the form of citizens’ daily lives — their “participation” in the widest sense — is what shapes the contours of sustainability itself’,1 the key normative theories of green citizenship that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s seek to inform policy and practice by outlining the kinds of rights and/or duties that the political community and individuals should support. These normative theories elaborate different conceptions of ‘environmental’, ‘ecological’, ‘active’ or ‘critical sustainability’ citizenship. As in any debate over a concept, there exists some disagreement among the proponents of green citizenship about its most important aspects. This said, such disagreement is the product of collegial effort to gain clarity and build the robustness of the concept. Primarily, these differences centre on what is the best balance between ‘liberal’ rights to something from society and ‘civic-republican’ duties and responsibilities to society. As in general political theory, critics of the liberal position argue that it fails to make clear what citizens must contribute in order to benefit from the polity. Meanwhile, critics of the civic-republican view regard it as limited to describing obligations, without making clear how claims to the shared benefits of belonging to the polity should be apportioned. Green liberal perspectives are said to over-emphasize entitlements; conversely, civic-republican perspectives are criticized for expressing a kind of green-tinged ethico-moral authoritarianism.

Keywords

Welfare State Social Movement Institutional Arrangement Normative Theory Political Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Andy Scerri 2012

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  • Andy Scerri

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