Local or Urban Citizenship?

In this contribution Johanna Hase highlights two aspects: First, she argues that the framing in terms of urban rather than local citizenship is not helpful, and possibly even counter-productive, for the purpose of constructing the new citizenship narrative. And second, she questions the relation between emancipating urban citizenship from nationality, on the one hand, and the growing competences of local polities, on the other hand.

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The Danger Zone: Charter Cities, Citizenship, and Social Justice

Urbanisation has radically transformed the way that people live, but a corresponding legal and political shift has not taken place. In North America and most of Europe, the power of cities is derived from the sovereignty of the state. Many cities do not have access to the revenue needed to provide for the social welfare and infrastructure requirements of residents.

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The Next Step: Coupling City-zenship to Human Rights

Should urban citizenship be emancipated from national citizenship? Barbara Oomen points at the international human rights framework for three reasons: (1) This is where local authorities are already looking for inspiration; (2) the legal framework of human rights offers an added value in meeting some of the underlying objectives of city-zenship; and (3) it could mitigate concerns legitimately raised in earlier contributions.

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Urban Agglomeration, Constitutional Silence

Urban citizenship is a bold and intriguing idea, regardless of whether we envision it as an alternative or as a complement to extant models of state-based membership. However, this concept seems to be slightly off target in identifying the main issue of city under-representation, namely the constitutional non-existence of cities, and more generally, the great constitutional silence surrounding today’s extensive urbanization and the consequent rise of megacities.

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Urban Citizenship – a Status or a Practice?

Helmut Aust reflects on the role of law in this discourse. The answer one might give to the question of decoupling citizenship from the state would arguably also depend on one’s disciplinary perspective. It is easier to think outside of the box from the perspective of political theory, political philosophy, and history than it is from the perspective of the law.

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