Supranational citizenship

By Lynn Dobson

Supranational citizenship


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-8477-9484-0
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: January 2013
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Comparative politics, Europe, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, Comparative politics, Politics & government, Politics
  • Series: Europe in Change


Can we conceptualise a kind of citizenship that need not be of a nation-state, but might be of a variety of political frameworks? Bringing together political theory with debates about European integration, international relations and the changing nature of citizenship, this book, available at last in paperback, offers a coherent and innovative theorisation of a citizenship independent of any specific form of political organisation. It relates that conception of citizenship to topical issues of the European Union: democracy and legitimate authority; non-national political community; and the nature of the supranational constitution.

The author argues that citizenship should no longer be seen as a status of privileged membership, but instead as an institutional role enabling individuals' capacities to shape the context of their lives and promote the freedom and well-being of others. In doing so, she draws on and develops ideas found in the work of the philosopher Alan Gewirth.


The book makes an original contribution to the treatment of EU democracy and citizenship through close and rigorous theoretical argument. It also suggests how supranational forms of citizenship - such as that of the EU - might inspire rethinking of moral and political agency in other contexts and polities.
UACES Best Book Award, Judges comments



UACES Best Book


Part I
1. Citizenship, part I: membership, privilege, and place
2. Citizenship, part II: status, identity, and role
3. Citizenship of the European Union
Part II
4. Gewirth: action and agency
5. Political agency
6. Nexus, framework: constituting authority
7. Agency, authorisation and representation in the EU
Part III
8. Gewirth: community, rights, values
9. Mutual recognition in the supranational polity
10. The good supranational constitution


Lynn Dobson lectures in Political Theory and EU/International Politics at the University of Edinburgh

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