The Transformation of Political Community and Conceptions of Global Citizenship

Authored by: William Smith

The Ashgate Research Companion to Ethics and International Relations

Print publication date:  September  2009
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754671015
eBook ISBN: 9781315612935
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043546


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This chapter surveys recent controversies within international political theory about the evolution of political community and the emergence of globally orientated conceptions of citizenship. A ‘political community’ is defined here as an association of individuals who are governed by shared institutions and united by solidarity ties (Held 1995, 200). ‘Citizenship’ is understood as having two connotations. First, it denotes the status of membership in a political community. Citizens enjoy legal and moral entitlements against the community, but will also be held to be under legal and moral obligations to their fellow citizens (Marshall 1992). Second, it denotes a sense of attachment to the political community in which one is a member. Citizenship is an aspect of personal identity, in that citizens identify with their community and value the contribution that they make to it (Weinstock 2001, 55).

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