chapter  3
17 Pages

Post-national theory, citizenship and human rights

The perceived waning significance and effectiveness of national borders and emergence of human rights as a key cause of their dissolution creates substantial common ground between cosmopolitan thought and new theories of post-national citizenship. Cosmopolitans' ascription of rights to all individuals was from the outset a challenge to past conceptions of the nation, membership of which has traditionally required particular characteristics. The nationalization of citizenship emerged out of nineteenth-century warfare when state sovereignty became the foundation of the international system and national boundaries solidified just as human rights in France and the US were born. The expanding role of national governments through the twentieth century reinforced their role as creators and guarantors of citizenship and the reliance of citizenship on relative cultural homogeneity. The idea of cosmopolitan citizenship or world citizenship first appeared in Ancient Greece in the fourth century BC, when the city-state polis and civic virtues associated with it were in obvious decline.