The Limits of Political Citizenship

Bueker, Catherine
September 2009
Society;Sep2009, Vol. 46 Issue 5, p423
Academic Journal
Policy makers tend to focus on the extension of citizenship as the primary means by which new populations become incorporated into a society. Although acquiring formal citizenship is necessary in order to participate in many aspects of a state's civic, social, and political life, the extension of legal citizenship is far from a guarantee for full membership. Instead of focusing exclusively on naturalizing immigrants, we need to consider T.H. Marshall's three spheres of citizenship—the civil, political, and social. By extending social elements of citizenship prior to or at the same time as we extend other benefits, we will move towards more complete citizenship for and greater civil and political engagement among all residents in our society—non-citizens, naturalized, and native-born, alike.


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