chapter  5
10 Pages

Citizenship

ByAlain Touraine

There can be no democracy without a sense of belonging to a political collectivity. The collectivity is a nation, but it could also be a township, a region, or a federation such as the body into which the European Union seems to be evolving. The term "citizenship" refers directly to the nation-state. There are two complementary aspects to the sense of belonging. Many countries have yet to build their national unity because differences between ethnic groups, religious groups, or regions are more important to people than their membership in a single national community. Democratization transforms a community into a society governed by laws, and the state into both a representative of society and a power that is limited by basic rights. The countries of western Europe are losing much of their sovereignty to an emerging federal European state. The motto "Liberty, equality, fraternity" provides the best definition of democracy because it reconciles truly political elements with social or ethical elements.