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Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

Michael Lister, Emily Pia

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This book seeks to analyse the impact of globalisation, European integration, mass migration, changing patterns of political participation and welfare state provision upon citizenship in Europe. Uniting theory with empirical examples, the central theme of the book is that how we view such changes is dependent upon how we view citizenship theoretically.

The authors analyse the three main theoretical approaches to citizenship: [1] classical positions (liberal, communitarian, and republican), primarily concerned with questions of rights and responsibilities; [2] multiculturalist and feminist theories, concerned with the question of difference; and [3] postnational or cosmopolitan theories which emphasise how citizen rights and behaviours are increasingly located beyond the nation state.

Using these theoretical perspectives, the second section of the book assesses four key social, economic and political developments which pose challenges for citizenship in Europe: migration, political participation, the welfare state and European integration. These, it is argued, represent the most significant challenges to and for citizenship in contemporary Europe.

Key Features

  • Emphasises the importance of theories of citizenship in the analysis of key issues affecting contemporary Europe
  • Offers a clear, accessible introduction to key themes and debates in citizenship theory
  • Combines a broad theoretical and empirical focus
  • Includes primary material in the empirical sections, contributing new ideas to the understanding of key issues in European politics


1. Theories of Citizenship
2. Theories of Citizenship: Critical Perspectives
3. Theories of Citizenship: Post-national Perspectives
4. Citizenship in Contemporary Europe: Migration and Identity
5. Citizenship in Contemporary Europe: Political Participation
6. Citizenship in Contemporary Europe: the Welfare State
7. Citizenship in Contemporary Europe: European Integration
8. Conclusion

About the Author

Michael Lister is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Politics and Sociology at Oxford Brookes University.

Emily Pia is MA Director in Peacebuilding at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Mancheste


An insightful exploration of key approaches to the notion and practice of citizenship ... one of the book's assets is its discerning capacity to address complex and essential questions for contemporary European challenges.
- Cristina Blanco Sio-Lopez, European University Institute, Journal of Common Market Studies
This book will be considerably useful to those studying citizenship.
- Gulay Icoz, Royal Holloway, University of London, Political Studies Review