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Representation and Citizenship

Edited by Richard Marback

Political Science, By WSU Faculty

Series in Citizenship Studies

Published: October 2016
ISBN: 9780814342466
Pages: 192 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 5
Published: October 2016
ISBN: 9780814342473

Concern with representation figures inescapably in the study of citizenship. From the initial formulations of a notion of citizenship in ancient Greece, in which citizens were persons charged with representing the interests of the city-state, concern about who and what gets represented, as well as how and why those people and things get represented, has been central in formulas describing the citizen’s relationship to a political community. Since the seventeenth century, the tension between citizens as representatives of the interests of the state and the state as representative of the interests of its citizens has found both practical and theoretical elaborations in understandings and exercises of citizenship. Today, the concept of representation resonates widely within citizenship studies, and its general ambiguity gives expression to many of the key issues of community membership, creating in this way a critical vocabulary through which those issues can be expressed. It is this vocabulary of representation that this book examines.

Representation and Citizenship is a collection of seven essays that speak to the pull in citizenship studies between founding beliefs that organize political communities and claims for multicultural and cosmopolitan expansions of those community beliefs. Each contributor takes a stance on supporting either founding beliefs or multicultural values, yet none are at the exclusion of the other. The essays explore the relevance of specific national contexts, including the United States, Canada, and Korea, and as a whole, argue that the tension between inclusion and exclusion retains significance for any assertion of what citizenship means.

The audience for this book includes, but is not limited to, students and scholars in citizenship studies, history, law, political science, and social science, especially those interested in issues of patriotism and multiculturalism.

Richard Marback is a professor of English at Wayne State University. He is the author of Managing Vulnerability: South Africa’s Struggle for a Democratic Rhetoric and editor of Generations: Rethinking Age and Citizenship (Wayne State University Press, 2015).

Contributors Include:
Susan L. T. Ashley, Terri Susan Fine, Nora Hui-Jung Kim, Will Kymlicka, John O'Keefe, Rogers M. Smith, Kerry Wynn

Representation and Citizenship addresses membership conundrums with fresh ideas regarding the problem of representation, community, and citizenship. Rogers Smith and Will Kymlicka in their opening chapters analyse these contradictions in terms of the constitutional foundations of membership ("a civic union") and the empirical realities of ethno-cultural-religious diversity. The multicultural diversity characteristic of modern societies needs a robust notion of cosmopolitanism to engender a shared membership. These foundational issues of citizenship are illustrated in subsequent chapters with case studies of various vocabularies of representation for minorities, migrants, and aboriginals. An original and creative contribution to citizenship studies.

– Bryan S. Turner, The Graduate Center, CUNY

How to represent the diverse members of a polity within the fiction of equivalence among citizens has been a problem that has engaged political activists and philosophers from classical times to the present. This collection of essays fruitfully explores from a variety of angles the possibilities and tensions that arise from the coexistence of universalistic values and particularistic ties.

– Frederick Cooper, author of Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960

Who is in, who is out, what does it mean to belong, and what kind of polity do we belong to? These are the fundamental and timely questions explored in Representation and Citizenship, a valuable resource for anyone interested in issues of citizenship.

– Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University