Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Sep 25, 2008 - Political Science - 133 pages
Interest in citizenship has never been higher. Politicians of all stripes stress its importance, as do church leaders, captains of industry and every kind of campaigning group--from those supporting global causes, such as tackling world poverty, to others with a largely local focus, such as combating neighborhood crime. In this brilliant, compact introduction, Richard Bellamy offers an eye-opening look at an idea that is as important as it is rare--the prospect of influencing government policy according to reasonably fair rules and on a more or less equal basis with others. Bringing together the most recent scholarship, the book sheds light on how ideas of citizenship have changed through time from ancient Greece to the present, looks at concepts such as membership and belonging, and highlights the relation between citizenship, rights, and democracy. Bellamy also examines the challenges confronting the very possibility of citizenship today, the impact of globalization, the desirability of "global citizenship," the teaching of citizenship in schools, citizenship tests for immigrants, and the many different definitions and types of citizenship in modern society.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.


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1 What is citizenship and why does it matter?
2 Theories of citizenship and their history
3 Membership and belonging
4 Rights and the right to have rights
5 Participation and democracy
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About the author (2008)

Richard Bellamy is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the School of Public Policy at University College, London. He has written 6 monographs to date, edited or co-edited a further 20 volumes and is the author of over a 100 journal articles and book chapters. His main books include Modern Italian Social Theory: Ideology and Politics from Pareto to the Present; Liberalism and Modern Society: An Historical Argument; Liberalism and Pluralism: Towards a Politics of Compromise and, as co-editor, Constitutionalism in Transformation: European and Theoretical Perspectives. Heregularly appears on TV and radio, and has written for newspapers including The Guardian and The Times Literary Supplement.