A paradox underlies the practice of citizenship. The introduction of the idea of citizenship, some 4,000 years ago, ushered in the revolutionary idea of humankind shaping its own destiny. The idea of citizenship opened up questions of Who belongs? and Who rules? If humans had thought that the foundations of their relationships, from family to gender, from clan to tribe, were primordial and beyond history, citizenship was a radical break. From the belief in the autonomous individual, civic identities and historical agency, suddenly societies became more malleable in the imagination of those able to grasp citizenship’s implications. Yet imputedly primordial categories, such as sex and race, have constrained the emergence of a truly civic polity ever since. More subtly, ideas of nature in the construction of nationhood and of rights from the Enlightenment have played a similar constraining role. This presentation, building upon a book project, has two objectives: First, it seeks to reveal the underlying grammar, the principles, of citizenship. Second, by eliciting the grammar of citizenship, it charts a path forward in an environment in which the practice of democracy has become decoupled from the principles of citizenship. In so doing, we consider, inter alia: the paradoxical relationship of rights to citizenship; the successes and vulnerabilities of human rights; the role of borders and introduce the concept of seams ; and propose a 21st century guild (building on, in part, an empirical investigation of ESG adoption) as an antidote to some of which ails contemporary democracy.
PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS IN PRESENCE ONLY