Citizenship and Difference: Towards a Differentiated Universalism

European Journal of Social Theory 1 (1):71-90 (1998)
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Abstract

Citizenship can be represented as both a status and a practice, reflecting the liberal/social rights and civic republican traditions but also moving beyond them in a critical synthesis. A key challenge for contemporary feminist and radical citizenship theory is how to move beyond the bogus universalism that underpinned both of these traditions, as well as that implied by the category `woman', so as to accommodate citizenship's universalist promise to the demands of diversity and difference. The article suggests how citizenship as both a status and a practice can be rethought so as to respond to this challenge. Drawing on a range of social and political theorists, it offers the concept of a `differentiated universalism' as a means of encapsulating the creative tension between the universal and the particular that lies at the heart of this approach to citizenship.

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