By Herman R. Van Gunsteren
Does important citizenship require ethical consensus? Or is it the facility to arrange our variations, that enables humans to dwell jointly as electorate in a republic? while liberal, republican, and communitarian theories of citizenship analyzed the stipulations of citizenship, the primary message of this e-book is that the sensible workout of citizenship, less than stipulations which are faraway from perfect, is the most resource of its energy. rather than arguing for extra participation, it makes a speciality of the citizenship of these who, for no matter what cause, are already lively within the public sphere. Herman van Gunsteren develops a idea of citizenship compatible to the period of political reform that used to be inaugurated by way of the revolutions of 1989.
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Additional info for A theory of citizenship: organizing plurality in contemporary democracies
Her we persondly approve of it. This stance is expressed in doctrines of the separation of politics from religion, of law from moraiity, and of justice from notions of the good. e,but. at the same time he disliked or t:hought undesira:bl+a price to be paid for freedom. However, in 1%eraf democracies a positive valuation of plurdity generaw p ~ v a i l s . Why? terns of living in which they have become enhangled. The exercise of the right to live and organize one's life according to one" own &sights would become m mbearabjle burden if' me had to start from zero, wi'rhnut being allowed to choose fmm a menu of available elements, Fhally, phrality is valued also because it makes for vitality m d resilience.
It does not merely wait for individuafs to present themselves spontmeously as citizens but also promotes the development of people into independent and competent citizens. ividuals are not naturally given; they are socially fomed. The? =public does not simply leave the ""reproduction""of dtizens to existing communities, but verjfies hlrhether the social education &red by those cornunities actually aIlows for admission to citizenship. Lliherl, this is not the case, or where people La& the formtive support of the cornmzlnily, the govcr Tn the republic, citizenship is the primary office: Office holders are primarily citizens hold an office as part of their exercise.
But how do they do it? And what is plurality? We all know that cmtemporary societies are plural; but in what ways, is not immediately clear. Tbcy surely evid,en,ce mny stubborn differences and catastmphic or pleasant s u ~ r i s e sbut ; we often get stuck when we try to give these a place in established schemes of social order and interprctation. And even \zrhen we succeed in doi,ng so, we retain a szlspicior? that we have missed smething important by incorporating them, and that our negligence sooner or later will come home tcr roost.