Citizenship and the Nation-State (Canceled)

Timothy Karis

First articulated in the city-states of ancient Greece and Rome and occupying a central place in the development of liberal political thought, the concept of citizenship today represents the modern, unquestioned form of membership linking individuals to territorial nation-states. Yet some scholars, focusing on new patterns of global governance, exchange and question the ongoing relevance of citizenship and state sovereignty. Other scholars dismiss this notion of the declining importance of citizenship, pointing to the life-and-death struggles of many people to escape hardships and find belonging in a new political community. This seminar explores the historical development and contemporary relevance of state citizenship, denaturalizing this taken-for-granted concept and considering alternative notions of political membership and social belonging. We will begin by tracing the lineage of the ideal of citizenship and examine how nearly the entire world’s population came to be attached to modern nation-states. Next, we consider how anthropologists have targeted experiences of national belonging through ethnographies from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East,  and elsewhere. Finally, we will look at contemporary citizenship debates around the world, considering the potential of new visions of “multicultural” citizenship to achieve equality and justice in increasingly diverse societies.

Prerequisites: Introductory Anthropology and previous upper-level coursework in Anthropology, Political Science, or Sociology
Credits: 4
T 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Updates, 4000, anthropology, Timothy Karis, and tagged , , , , , .