chapter  5
13 Pages

Citizenship: European and Global

Talk of citizenship beyond state borders is not new. To the contrary, we find competing conceptions already in ancient Greek and Roman political thought. When asked which was his country, Socrates insisted that he was a citizen of the world, rather than an Athenian or a Corinthian. Likewise, when asked where he came from, Diogenes answered that 'I am a citizen of the world'. Their notion of citizenship beyond the city-state did not include any legal rights beyond borders. In contrast, Athenian citizens-that privileged set of free men - enjoyed active rights to political participation. Yet, for Socrates and Diogenes, citizenship of the world seemed to replace traditional citizenship rights and duties. In comparison, the Roman Empire recognised and even encouraged dual citizenship, with loyalty both to the local community and to Rome. This arrangement allowed citizens of Rome freedom of movement and trade within the Empire. Still, the Roman notion of dual citizenship had its drawbacks, both for the individual and for the political order. To be a citizen of Rome usually only provided status or passive citizenship in the form of protection, rather than active citizenship rights to political participation enjoyed only by the patrician class. Dual citizenship also created dual loyalties in the populations of the Empire, causing unresolved conflicts (Toynbee 1970; Clarke 1994).