chapter  1
28 Pages

Citizenship and human rights in tension: Changes, issues and approaches

A single enquiry into citizenship and human rights immediately stumbles over the question of how exactly the two principles relate to one another. Are they equivalent or antithetical? The case for their antithesis proceeds from their distinct logics. While citizenship rests on dynamics of both inclusion and exclusion, human rights presuppose only inclusion. The idea of common humanity on which they are based transcends national and territorial borders. By contrast, the case for their equivalence convincingly proceeds from their common function. Since citizenship and human rights are both means for challenging relations of power and subordination, the case might be that they are not two opposed principles, but rather one dual principle constitutive, in its duality, of political empowerment. This book starts from the first assumption, but in a slightly modified form. It argues that although citizenship and human rights are not outrightly antithetical, they are certainly in tension. This tension manifests itself at different levels of analysis and consists of several facets.