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date: 14 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter focuses on citizenship as membership in a political community. It starts from a critical discussion of the “democratic boundary problem” and argues that principles of democratic inclusion need to be differentiated for various stages of the democratic process and different types of polities. Section 2 focuses on conceptual analysis and argues that – as a form of membership – citizenship creates categorical distinctions but not necessarily impermeable, stable or bright boundaries. Section 3 examines the variety of democratic polities and identifies birthright, residence and multilevel derivation as the characteristic membership rules for independent states, for municipalities and for subnational or supranational regions. The last section discusses the mismatch between territorial and membership boundaries in the international state system as the main reason for the increasing complexity of citizenship relations in the current world. My conclusion is that normative inclusion principles need to be sensitive not only to the diversity of interests, beliefs and values in liberal society, but also to the pluralism of self-governing polities and of individuals’ relations to these.

Keywords: democratic boundary problem, self-government, democratic inclusion, types of polities, categorical distinctions, birthright, residence, membership rules

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