Citizenship, A, And Our Modern Interpretation Of What Being A Citizen Really Means

1961 Words Nov 11th, 2014 8 Pages
Citizenship, with its attendant rights and duties has been an ever constant in human society since the earliest ideas of democracy and the rights of mankind were recorded in the Greek city-states of antiquity. As human society has evolved with the passing of the centuries so too has our perspective on citizenship, into what we now recognise as our modern interpretation of the expectations and rights of the citizen within the nation or state to which they belong. “Citizenship refers not only to a legal status, but also to a normative, democratic ideal. Citizenship is intended to provide a common status which helps integrate members of society.” (Concise Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy; 142)
This essay will set out to examine the concept of citizenship as the basis to “the right to have rights” and our modern interpretation of what being a citizen really means. Historical views on the subject will be explored and contrasted with 20th/21st century perspectives in an attempt to explore what it means to be a citizen in the UK today, and how this position interacts with the welfare state we now live in.

The argument that holding the status of citizen within a nation is the foundation of “the right to have rights” would suggest that all citizens within that state share the same equal status and protections regardless of position, power or wealth. Some of these rights include the right to live, work and vote in the country, the right to education, to a reasonable standard of…

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