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.
Chapter 5: Capitalism, Class and Social Rights
Capitalism, Class and Social Rights
- The Element of Positivity in Marx's Critique 80
- The Dialectic of Abstraction and Concentration in Marx's Theory 81
- Citizenship and Social Rights 85
- Restoring the Standards of Commodity Production 88
- Citizenship and the ‘Welfare State’ 90
- The Transformation of Capitalism 94
- Summary 97
Capitalism, as a system, has a contradictory relationship to citizenship. On the one hand, capitalism has created a universal notion of citizenship because it legitimates and popularizes the notions of freedom and equality. On the other hand, it does so in an abstract – and therefore oppressive – way, so that an inclusive citizenship is only possible through policies and strategies that develop the process of overcoming capitalism.
Class is a barrier to a universal and inclusive citizenship. Class necessarily embodies ...