The New Citizenship, Imperatives of State and Questions of Justice

  • Andy Scerri


By the 1980s, what was seen by post-Marxists such as Habermas as the dissolution of the political power of a form of life that takes into account the generalizable interests of all individuals pointed to a more comprehensive transformation of the legitimation imperative of state. While ‘old’ social movements continued to engage in civil actions that claimed generalizable interests, these were marginalized from the political sphere itself in postindustrial conditions. Whereas the politics of legitimation had centred on détente between state and economic interests in security, order, accumulation and legitimation through the welfare state, on the one hand, and the view that redistributive social citizenship would eventually be universalized, on the other hand, the ideological encompassment of the compromise on the social bond shifted in the 1980s. By the 1990s, state interests in maintaining political legitimacy no longer lay in managing the compromise between collective obligation and individual autonomy by reference to the modern ‘situation-centred ethico-morality’ that sustained eco-nomic-redistributive policymaking. The concerns of social citizenship, as expressed by organized labour, could no longer attach themselves to the accumulation, external security or internal order imperatives, because the historically progressive focus of the legitimation imperative had been challenged.


Welfare State Political Participation Network Governance Creative Class Participatory Governance 
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