In today’s society, a civic narrative that extols independence, dignity, and nationhood inevitably glorifies citizenship. Dimitry Kochenov argues that citizenship is a tale of arrogance, dishonesty, and dominance that flatters citizens and humiliates non-citizens. Kochenov explains the situation of citizenship in the contemporary world in this volume of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series.
Kochenov describes what citizenship is, what it implies, how it came about, and how its function in the world has been changing. He provides a critical introduction to a topic that is typically considered uncritically. He analyzes the concept’s four main facets: status (looking at how and why citizenship is extended, what purpose it serves, and who is left behind); rights (particularly the right to live and work in a state); duties (looking at what it means to be a “good citizen”); and politics (looking at how citizenship is granted and exercised).
The appealing concepts of human worth, equality, and dignity will be applied through citizenship, but only to clearly distinct categories of people. People who live outside the barrier aren’t citizens in the traditional sense and don’t belong. Kochenov cautions that citizenship is much too frequently used as a legal justification for oppression, violence, and exclusion.