Handbook of Political Citizenship and Social Movements
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Handbook of Political Citizenship and Social Movements

Edited by Hein-Anton van der Heijden

This Handbook uniquely collates the results of several decades of academic research in these two important fields. The expert contributions successively address the different forms of political citizenship and current approaches and recent developments in social movement studies. Salient social movements in recent history are explored in depth, covering the environmental, women’s, international human rights, urban, Tea Party, and animal rights movements. Social movements and political citizenship in the ‘global South’: China, India, Africa, and the Arab World, are discussed, presenting a novel empirical insight into these fields of study.
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Chapter 8: European citizenship

Espen D.H. Olsen


European citizenship is a peculiar construct. It is citizenship of a ‘nonstate’. Moreover, it is not based on exclusive individual membership of the EU polity; rather, it is derived from national citizenships of EU member states (Closa, 1992) and it was linked already from the first treaties to EU-specific rights to free movement and non-discrimination based on nationality (Plender, 1976; Evans, 1984; Maas, 2007; Olsen, 2008). Not only that, it has been – and still is – hotly contested among academics and politicians alike. This is, of course, not surprising as citizenship is often seen as one of the crucial ideas, statuses and institutions of the nationstate. Is ‘European’ citizenship then not an oxymoron, a veritable ‘pie in the sky’ (D’Oliveira, 1995) that has little to do with citizens’ real lives and more to do with the utopian visions of overzealous political leaders and cosmopolitan academics? This chapter charts the vast research field on European citizenship that has blossomed since citizenship became ‘official’ in European integration through so-called Union citizenship in the Maastricht Treaty. In so doing, the chapter focuses primarily on the political science literature with certain forays into political philosophy and European law where needed. As this volume deals with political citizenship and social movements, specific emphasis is put on different strands of research that focus on the meaning of European citizenship and its development as a specific kind of citizenship institution ‘beyond’ the nation-state.

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