Citizenship refers to the legal status of membership of a political state. A citizen is an individual recognized in law as enjoying certain rights and possessing certain, limited responsibilities (obeying the law and paying taxes, for example). In political theory, citizenship is often understood in wider terms to invoke not only legal membership of a political state but also active engagement within one’s communities. Recent work on citizenship—centered on the notion of multiple citizenships—has sought to emphasize the complex and multilayered nature of citizenship in contemporary societies. This entry provides an overview of core elements of citizenship, a summary of conceptions of citizenship, and a synopsis of ways in which citizenship may be learned.


Citizenship is a legal status, but it is also much more ...

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