Matthew J. Lister
Deakin University
Many international law scholars have begun to argue that the modern world is experiencing a "decline of citizenship," and that citizenship is no longer an important normative category. On the contrary, this paper argues that citizenship remains an important category and, consequently, one that implicates considerations of justice. I articulate and defend a "civic" notion of citizenship, one based explicitly on political values rather than shared demographic features like nationality, race, or culture. I use this premise to argue that a just citizenship policy requires some form of both the jus soli (citizenship based on location of birth) and the jus sanguinis (citizenship based on "blood" or descent) approaches to citizenship acquisition. In the course of this argument I show why arguments made by Peter Schuck, Rogers Smith, Peter Spiro, Linda Bosniak, and Ayelet Shachar, among others, against this view, are mistaken. This justice-based approach to citizenship also has significant implications for naturalization law and policy. First, I argue that it requires open and easy naturalization and show why the use of naturalization policy to foster national identification is wrong. Second, I demonstrate that if naturalization is easy and open, some rules limiting certain social benefits and privileges to citizens may be compatible with justice, thereby providing a foundation for future discussions of alienage law.
Keywords Citizenship  Immigration  International Migration  constitutional patriotism  Civic notion of citizenship  jus soli  jus sanguinis  Naturalization  membership  political philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Philosophical Foundations for Complementary Protection.Matthew J. Lister - 2020 - In David Miller & Christine Straehle (eds.), The Political Philosophy of Refuge. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 211-231.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Environment and Citizenship: Integrating Justice, Responsibility and Civic Engagement.Mark J. Smith - 2008 - Distributed in the Usa Exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan.
Dialectics of Citizenship.Ruth Lister - 1997 - Hypatia 12 (4):6-26.
Citizenship, Egalitarianism and Global Justice.Chris Armstrong - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (5):603-621.
European Citizenship: Towards a European Identity?B. P. - 2001 - Law and Philosophy 20 (3):239-282.
Citizenship and the Environment.Andrew Dobson - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
The European 'We': From Citizenship Policy to the Role of Education.Maria Olson - 2012 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 (1):77-89.
Citizenship, Inc.Wayne Norman - 2008 - Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (1):1-26.
Sector-Based Corporate Citizenship.Laura Timonen & Vilma Luoma-aho - 2010 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 19 (1):1-13.


Added to PP index

Total views
35 ( #325,072 of 2,506,017 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,628 of 2,506,017 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes