The dynamics of European citizenship: enactment, extension and assertion

Saward, Michael (2013). The dynamics of European citizenship: enactment, extension and assertion. Comparative European Politics, 11 pp. 49–69.



When interpreted as citizenship of the European Union, the development of European citizenship has prompted a series of debates on rights, membership and belonging, and democracy and constitutionalism. These debates can be enriched by highlighting the ways in which European citizenship is enacted by a variety of actors. It is argued that acts of European citizenship occur under two different dynamics: extension and assertion. Acts under the dynamic of extension are most often acts extending existing legal citizenship regimes by formal and public institutions, such as the European Court of Justice. Acts under the hitherto relatively neglected dynamic of assertion are likely to be more diffuse in location and visibility and uncertain in their goals and impacts. Understanding such acts – and the links between acts under the two dynamics – has the potential to reinvigorate and expand research agendas in the study of European citizenship.

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