• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Is 'citizenship' still a useful concept? Can citizens - and democracy - exist independently of the state? This text provides an accessible guide to the theories and debates that surround the key political concepts of state, citizenship, and democracy today. John Hoffman reviews the modern development of these concepts from the classic texts of Marx and Weber to the post-war critiques of the feminist, multicultural and critical theorists and considers the on-going barriers to a full realisation of a democratic citizenship. By carefully considering what the state is and what it does, Hoffman shows that it is possible to respond to these critiques and challenges and 'reclaim' citizenship and democracy as inclusive and emancipatory, rather than divisive and controlling. In advancing this alternative view of a 'stateless' citizenship, Hoffman opens up new possibilities for conceiving power and society in contemporary politics today. It will be essential reading for all students of politics and sociology for whom the questions of state, nationality, power and identity remain of central importance.

State and Nationalism
State and nationalism

This chapter will explain the link between nationalism and the state, arguing that both are barriers to democratic citizenship. A distinction will be defended between nationality – or national identity – and nationalism, defined here as the view that a person's ultimate loyalty is to the nation. The latter is tied to the state, either as a reality to be defended, or as a dream to be realized. In either case, the monopolistic exclusivity of the state translates itself into the exclusivity of nationalism and it will be argued that although national identity is part of a democratic citizenship, ...

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