WP2 Conceptual & Synthesis
The aim of Work Package ‘Conceptual & Synthesis’ (WP2) is to provide substantive coherence and integration to the project by ‘bridge building’ between theory and empirical work; between the literatures in the disciplines involved in our citizenship debate: law, philosophy, social and political science and history; and between the work done by the various work packages.
At the same time, this WP has an element of a synthesis. The concrete findings of the work in the various other work packages will, in this WP, be integrated at a higher level of abstraction, by taking elements from those WP products to be fed into some of the central philosophical issues in the theoretical debates on citizenship.
The aim is also to build bridges between WPs and participants. We want to avoid the project disintegrating into many different subprojects and scholars each doing their own thing in a little far corner of the project. We therefore aim to further substantive integration and homogeneity by creating a real ‘community of scholars’. This task will be our own forum where we will practice ‘citizenship’. All participants should consider themselves ‘citizens’ of our project community, each with their own
duties, but also rights.
In substantive terms we want to build bridges between the abstract general theoretical work conducted in legal and political theory regarding citizenship and the more concrete and specific cases in legal and empirical studies carried out in the other work packages. After all, the challenge in science is to move back and forth between the abstract and the concrete, translating abstract concepts and arguments into specific cases and events and, vice versa, perceiving the more general and abstract principles, problems and arguments in concrete cases.
We aim to do so by continually further elaborating various theoretical and conceptual issues surrounding Citizenship during the project. These discussions and studies are meant to feed, infuse, and inspire the work conducted in the different work packages and to build cross-connections between them. In turn the conceptual work should also be fed by questions, problems, hypotheses, subjects, ideas and findings from the work carried out in the various work packages. And eventually
summarised at a main concluding conference where contributions from the other WPs will also be presented and discussed.
This need to respond to input from the other work packages requires a certain flexibility in programming and makes it difficult to plan this work package in detail. There has to be room for modifying the programme in response to issues, needs, questions, ideas or findings from the other WPs.
Nevertheless, there are a number of topics which are central to past and present citizenship debates, which are very relevant to our project and which provide a starting point for the programme of this WP. Some of these are:
– elaboration of the concept of rights, of ‘market citizenship’ versus ‘civic’ citizenship, the balance of rights and duties, and the rights and duties of citizens from and to their states, vice versa
– how has the concept of citizenship and rights evolved over the centuries? Which similarities and differences are there between the concept of market citizenship in late medieval guilds and the modern day European Union; as well as between the concept of ‘civic’ citizenship in medieval cities and modern nation states?
– Citizenship and equality: issues of inclusion (of citizens) and exclusion (of non-citizens). Is the distinction between citizens and non-citizens so black-and-white? Or is there also a grey area of semi-citizenship in between? What about the position of third-country nationals in Europe?
– Citizenship entails a balance of rights from and duties towards the community. Does Europe only provide rights or does it also impose duties? Could it? If not, is this an asymmetry built into European citizenship?
– The effect of shifting borders, overlapping domains and mobility on the coherence of communities and identities, including the possibility of multiple/multi-level identities.
– Citizenship rights, the welfare state and the European Union
– Is there also a ’rights’ revolution in Europe? What are its causes? What are its consequences? The latter, particularly with regard to the balance between democracy – the rule of the people – and the constitutional state – rule by the judiciary? How should such consequences be evaluated?
– Can European citizenship be a model for other regions in the world?
– European citizenship and the prospects for ‘cosmopolitan’ citizenship