Isin, Engin F.
(2008). Theorizing acts of citizenship.
In: Isin, Engin F. and Nielsen, Greg M. eds.
Acts of Citizenship.
London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 15–43.
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About the book: This book examines theories of how citizenship is mediated between lived experiences and formal entitlements in order to map out, confine, extend, name, and enact the boundaries of belonging to a polity. The authors introduce the concept "acts of citizenship" as an alternative way to investigate citizenship. This concept constitutes a significant departure from the way in which citizenship studies has been orientated over the last decade.The authors argue that to investigate acts of citizenship in a way that is irreducible to either status or practice, while still valuing this distinction, requires a focus on those moments when regardless of status and substance, subjects constitute themselves as citizens. Their investigation into acts of citizenship involves a sustained engagement with interdisciplinary thought, drawing from new developments not only in politics, sociology, geography and anthropology but also psychoanalysis, philosophy and history. It also requires crossing genres from science to art to philosophy to grasp the complex ways in which subjects articulate themselves into citizens.The book assembles together deep traditions in social and political thought to provide a focused examination of acts of citizenship in this new way. It also addresses key historical and contemporary issues that are of vital importance to citizenship studies today, using the vantage points of aesthetics, justice, ethics and the political. Its theoretical and analytical chapters are supplemented with shorter essays providing illustrative examples of 'acts'.
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