DOI link for Understanding Citizenship
Understanding Citizenship book
WHEN WE fill in an immigration clearance form at an airport, we complete a section on ‘nationality’ by using terms such as ‘British’ or ‘Canadian’. However, the legal titles for formal membership in Britain and Canada are ‘British citizenship’ and ‘Canadian citizenship’. The indiscriminate use of the terms ‘citizenship’ and ‘nationality’ is not merely accidental, but suggestive of the way in which citizenship is understood today. Today it not only describes one’s legal status as a formal member of a state, it is also supposed to imply one’s national membership however a ‘nation’ is defined.1 In the end, ‘the state claims to be the state of, and for, a particular, bounded citizenry’, asserting its legitimacy on the basis of the will of that citizenry which is grouped by a shared identity and loyalty to the state.2 Especially after the Second World War, this understanding of citizenship-national citizenship-is the prevalent international mode.