Citizenship: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Concept

TitleCitizenship: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Concept
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsFahrmeir, Andreas
Number of Pages299
PublisherYale University Press
CityNew Haven, CT

This study provides a historical perspective on contemporary debates about immigration and the nature of citizenship. By tracing the origins of citizenship in four Western countries—Britain, France, Germany and the United States—from about 1700 to the present, the author demonstrates the contingency and changeability of the concept. The book is concerned not just with "formal" or legal citizenship, but also with the related development of political participation, economic privileges and social rights. The author argues that rather than being separate facets of one "citizenship," these elements were (and continue to be) available to groups that only partly coincide with the community of legal citizens. And he considers whether the combined effects of regionalism, European unification, "post-democracy" and economic globalization are eroding state citizenship or whether increased immigration controls and stringent criteria for nationality render it as relevant today as ever.

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