Books: The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship

Edited by Ayelet Shachar, Rainer Bauböck, Irene Bloemraad and Maarten Vink - Oxford University Press

The concept of citizenship has changed drastically over the past few decades and is garnering more interest than ever before. Contrary to mainstream belief, the influence of a rapidly globalizing world has by no means made citizenship redundant. In fact, the proliferation of economic citizenship has grown into an industry worth roughly EUR 3 billion, underlining the importance that individuals are placing on their global positioning.

The remarkable expansion of the internet and social media and the proliferation of smartphones to almost every corner of the globe mean that people are more interconnected, aware, and mutually concerned than ever before. And this should come as no surprise. The most urgent issues that we face today — climate change, food and energy security, statelessness, inequality, disease, and so on — transcend national and regional boundaries. They demand a unified, global effort, not a retreat into xenophobic nationalism, and most people intrinsically realize this.

The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship combines the views of experts in various industries linked to citizenship, including law, economics, philosophy, political science, sociology, and geography, to provide a multi-pronged argument around the various dimensions citizenship assumes. These include citizenship as a legal status and political membership, as a right and obligation, as identity, and as a discourse of social equality.

The expert contributors of The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship uncover and address some of the oldest challenges in the literature on citizenship, and they set an agenda for exploring future theories. The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship provides an accessible and digestible insight into the current state of citizenship that appeals to both academic and non-academic audiences.

The book explores the main hurdles and opportunities that we face in a time of increased migration in a globalized world. Attention is also given to new forms of membership and democratic involvement that extend beyond national borders, as well as the increasing development of European multi-level citizenship, highlighting the potential for citizenship to operate beyond the nation-state level.

The chapters of the handbook provide a logical breakdown of citizenship in all its variations across countries and in different contexts, shedding light on migrants as well as individuals who have never crossed an international border. Topics covered in the book include citizenship-by-investment, citizenship laws, multiple citizenships, in-between statuses, post-colonial citizenship, the influence of technology on citizenship, and other current and relevant issues.

The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship is a robust, modern guideline to induce creative and pragmatic discussions about some of the most pressing issues we currently face. It will surely become a valuable reference to individuals engaged in the various branches of citizenship and will guide theory from a political, cultural, and legal viewpoint.

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