By Herman R. Van Gunsteren
Does important citizenship require ethical consensus? Or is it the power to prepare our ameliorations, that enables humans to reside jointly as electorate in a republic? while liberal, republican, and communitarian theories of citizenship analyzed the stipulations of citizenship, the critical message of this e-book is that the sensible workout of citizenship, below stipulations which are faraway from excellent, is the most resource of its energy. rather than arguing for extra participation, it specializes in the citizenship of these who, for no matter what cause, are already energetic within the public sphere. Herman van Gunsteren develops a conception of citizenship well matched to the period of political reform that used to be inaugurated via the revolutions of 1989.
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Extra resources for A theory of citizenship: organizing plurality in contemporary democracies
Pwer. from the established ties of work, family, and the state. 1fail to represent the indjviduality the self-composed bouytlet, of today" citizen. A second implication of the proliferation of gave ents and communities is the disappearance of a relatively homoge~neousmiddle class, previously considered the backbme of a stable republic of citizens. This class consisted of those not rich enough to buy the support of others and not poor e~noughto have to sell their vote, of thase who had a vested hterest in the continued existence of a republican orber, Until recently this class was made up of paid employees and independent businessmen, and the members of ErausefnoXds that lived on their incomes.
Piurality is a recurrent theme in political discourse precisely because it is inherent in political life. In liberal democratic regimes, this theme will always be pmminent for the si~nplereason that the e x e ~ i s eof individual freedom-its core Plurality in T k Unknown Society D 35 value-tends to generate plurdity. This plurality is prima facie legitimate and m y be curtailed only in exceptimal situations, for special reasms. The burdm of proof rests on the curtailer. If you want freedom, you must accept plurality.
If we can get a view on how they do thiswhat skills, ruses, attitudes, and insights it takes-we might subsequently see which parts of:this practical but. If we mdcrstand &is, we can try to make the many acts of dvility more robust and immune to such interventions. This purpose, in part, has led tcr the establishment of a number of public instihtitms safe- Plurality in T k Unknown Society D 39 guarding the legal process, f ~ e d o mof speech, movement in the streets, and so on. In. g with difference through the building artd revising of public institutions.