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What is substantive citizenship and why is it important? Make your case in relation to one particular issue.
Citizenship, in both theory and practice, is not a new concept. The significance, interpretation and theories of citizenship span across several ages throughout history. Presently, the determinants and entitlements of citizenship status, along with obligations of citizens, are questioned and debated fervently between neo-liberal and heterodox theorists. Within the scope of these debates, this essay is primarily concerned with the difference between formal and substantive citizenship. By differentiating between the two, a well-defined interpretation of substantive citizenship and valuation of its importance are established within this text. A critical view of liberal and neo-liberal theories of citizenship is offered by counter arguments favoring substantive citizenship, and is supplemented by assessing the case of the marginalized Palestinian minority in Israel. Liberal and Neo-liberal Views of Citizenship Because of its highly contested nature (Lister 1998, p.5), not one single definition prevails as universally accepted when it comes to defining citizenship. Citizenship is usually described as “participation in or membership of a community” (Barbalet 1988, p.2). Liberal theorists characterize citizenship as both a legal status and a set of rights, and claim that citizenship status is only legitimate when publicly recognized (Barbalet 1988, p.16). Much of the liberal citizenship standpoint can be classified as formal citizenship, which is prescribed to people either by birth or “naturalization” (Cowen and Gilbert 2008, p.10). As described by classical liberal theory, universal human rights and formal rights to citizenship are to be granted to people within a clearly defined territory, and individuals should be the “ultimate bearer[s] of rights despite [their] status in society” (Kabeer 2005, p.2). Neo-liberals view citizenship as a status that people must earn and believe that citizenship duties actually precede rights (Kabeer 2005, p.2). Within the context of today’s modern democratic states, citizenship allows a person to “participate in the exercise of political power through the electoral process” (Barbalet 1988, p.2). The duty of the citizen, therefore, is to vote. Civil and political rights are seen as the only “true rights” because they “promote freedom of individuals to act” (Kabeer 2005, p.2). In addition, civil rights are often regarded as the only justifiable means 1
Patten (2000. p.” In spite of the fact that some societies “founded on ethical. p.” which is most notably spearheaded by neo-conservatives in the United States (Cowen and Gilbert 2008.” Furthermore. p. supporting rather than denying “the social matrices of personal flourishing. marginalized people and groups suffer when governments shift to “welfarism to workfarist citizenship. consequently. Fullinwider argues that the acceptance of formal rights are “more important than our differences” (1995.498) asserts that liberal states embrace constitutional individualism through formal citizenship. Patten (2000) questions the practicality of the liberal theory of citizenship and is particularly interested in the relationship between the membership. According to liberal theorists. Furthermore. For example. membership of a community is recognized in the public sphere (Patten 2000.202) argues that the politics of recognition favor certain identities over others.101). however.15). constitutional. p. p. advocate for human emancipation and state provision of economic and social 2 .203). affirming and promoting those [preferred] identities. flaws in the principle of recognition can cause “social fragmentation. p. Marxists.” leading to “little sense of common purpose” and lack of “mutual solidarity to be a workable part of liberal citizenship” (Patten 2000. Critiques and Heterodox Perspectives Even though liberal and neo-liberal views of citizenship tend to dominate national policies around the world. Equal recognition in the public sphere. The political emancipation and civil participation stressed by liberal theorists do not take into account people who are disadvantaged by the class system and who are unable to “participate in the community of citizenship in which they have legal membership” (Barbalet 1988. Fullinwider (1995. there is still plenty of room for criticism. Social and economic rights.515). “intervening with the intention of accommodating. p. citizenship’s entitlements are not universal (Patten 2000.194).198-202). p.2).2). p. does not cover all citizens and. entitlement and responsibilities granted by formal rights. amongst others who are critical of liberal citizenship views.Student #: 4413997 of meeting the needs of the disadvantaged (Funnell 2001. Marxist critiques of liberal citizenship theory derive from concerns of class system inequality. on the other hand. and civic individualism” may not exhibit neutral policies. are viewed as requiring excessive state intervention and constitute an “infringement on individual liberty” (Kabeer 2005. p.
While formal citizenship represents universal citizenship in the public sphere. Civil citizenship encompasses the rights to individual freedoms. T. p. p. p. Feminist theorists insist that citizenship should rely on emotion instead of rational relations. individual differences in the private sphere are often disregarded or ignored (Young 1990. rational and disembodied practices” onto people in hopes of shaping them into model citizens. Marshall believes that social rights are equally as important as civil and political rights because social rights help promote the 3 .168). p. political citizenship is the “right to participate in the exercise of power. Feminist theorists criticize elements of citizenship rights in liberal democratic institutions. Marshall’s Substantive Citizenship In his book Citizenship and Social Class (1950). religion.H.7) insists that liberal “citizenship’s false universalism” forces “impersonal. and ethnicity.6). sex. T.” Many feminists reject “formal. p.6). who is widely recognized as an authority on this subject. p. encourages a reinterpretation of the meaning of citizenship. Marshall. Young (1990. p. p. according to Marshall (1950. Citizenship.” and be founded on the “ethic of caring rather than justice” (Squires 2000.3). operate “on recognition of difference rather than the aspiration of equality. Lister (1998.” As theorized by Marshall.Student #: 4413997 rights in order to overcome the obstacles that political citizenship has faltered on (Barbalet 1988.H. As opposed to liberal theory’s universalist citizenship.29 in Lister 1997.166) advocates for a “politics of difference” system instead of one that overlooks “differences of race. Maternalist citizenship offers a foundation of values within the private rather than public sphere traditionally preferred by liberal theorists.28-29). political and social (Barbalet 1988.30).” and social citizenship is the right to partake in a desirable standard of living shared by all members of society (Barbalet 1988. p. substantive citizenship is comprised of three interrelated components: civil. p. universalist citizenship altogether” and instead advocate maternalist citizenship which replaces “individual politics of self-interest with a more compassionate and altruistic ethic” (Squires 2000. especially the inability of formal citizenship “to meet the needs of women and racialised groups and the socially and economically marginalized” (Taylor 1989. p.39).39). is a status granted to full members of a society and “all who possess the status are equal with respect to the rights and duties with which the status is endowed.
” thereby performing a “key integration function” in society (Marshall 1950.91). in which the individual is given community membership status.” The government.Student #: 4413997 “effective exercise of civil and political rights by groups who are disadvantaged in terms of power and resources. and that citizenship rights must address issues of both social conflict and social harmony (1950. Instead. Funnell (2001. of which people participate and are members of more than one (p. therefore.104-105) contends that substantive rights are meaningless if “not translated into structures and institutions dedicated to achieving social justice.13). reduction in class inequality will not be attainable (1950.516). Marshall asserts. p. p. p. As opposed to formal citizenship. p. Marshall’s substantive citizenship incorporates a wider range of rights and as well as obligations of the state to ensure that these rights are provided for and secured to all members of society (Barbalet 1988. Marshall argues that there is a clear class bias in the principles and operation of civil and social rights.81).81) claims that the state is required to provide rights especially to those who do not benefit or receive limited benefits from formal citizenship. If citizenship is only concerned with civil rights. p. social rights and substantive citizenship can “remove the illegitimate inequalities from the class system. The inequalities of wealth and power generated by capitalism undermine democratic citizenship and consequently limit the effectiveness and empowerment of civil and political citizenship rights (Cowen and Gilbert 2008. Formal citizenship does not take into account the negative externalities of the legal system that oppress minorities and marginalized people within society. 4 . p.18).526) because the universalist aspect does not take into account sub-systems and groups within society. p. Marshall’s analysis concerns the “contradictory logics of democratic citizenship and capitalism” and seeks to make citizenship and capitalism more compatible (Cowen and Gilbert 2008. Evaluating the Importance of Substantive Citizenship Should substantive citizenship be given equal weight and importance comparable to that of formal citizenship? While agreeing with Marshall’s theory.29).13). p. p. Marshall (1950. must take on a more active role to extend and protect citizenship rights to all members of society (Funnell 2001.100).91).” as well as promote individual autonomy (Lister 1997. p. p. Halfmann is critical of Marshall’s “universalist promise of citizenship” (1998.
p. which is why a more substantive base for citizenship is important (Dwyer 2004.444). Formal citizenship. p. p. p.42. suffer from the absence of substantive rights (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998. p. p. voting and standing elections. while simultaneously declaring Israel to be a “Jewish State” and the “birthplace of the Jewish people and their natural and historical homeland” (Handelmann 1994. except an empty name” (Jones in Clarke 1994. substantive citizenship is still important for several reasons. “can be nothing apart from its citizens. political and social rights to protect people against these instances (King and Waldron 1988. should not be abandoned entirely. The “civic inequality” (Handelmann 1994.432).423). Substantive citizenship. according to Dwyer (2004. Advocating Substantive Citizenship Rights for Palestinians in Israel The state.” but all have been grossly violated and manipulated since the Israeli state’s inception (Smooha 1990. however.332).23). worship.130).400).423). substantive citizenship values the ‘horizontal view’ of relations between citizens of all classes within society (Kabeer 2005. p. Although all Israeli citizens theoretically have equal rights. p. only its Jewish citizens are entitled to rights and privileges upheld by political Zionism ruling the self-proclaimed Jewish nation (White 2009. Substantive citizenship’s “welfare provision” expands the scope of civil. However.” as these Palestinians are called. Peled 1992. Instead of focusing on the traditional ‘vertical’ view of citizenship between the state and the individual. Arab Israelis were granted a series of civil liberties in 1948. State inadequacies and market failures in capitalist economies are major factors that prevent citizens from obtaining or realizing the full potential of their rights. Israel’s Declaration of Independence (14 May 1948) proclaims the state to be democratic. “the preservation of inequalities” in society is harder to maintain (King and Waldron 1988. expression. Sir Henry Jones once claimed.Student #: 4413997 In spite of these critiques. p. civil and social rights.164). By enriching the status of citizenship. movement. The combination of both formal and substantive citizenship rights can promote a more equitable environment for all members of society to enjoy and benefit from.” A person can possess formal state membership and yet still be excluded from certain political. p. including “freedoms of assembly. fills in the gaps of a formal legal status so that a citizen may “enjoy the rights (including rights to welfare) that ensure effective membership of a national community. “Arab Israelis. p.443) between Jewish and Arab Israelis 5 . p. p.324). this is not the case for Palestinians living in Israel (Rouhana and Ghanem 1994.129).
while others claim Israel to be a “tyranny of the majority” (Smooha 1990. p. economic. they are treated as second-class citizens (Smooha 1990. Peled 1992).407). and military power centers in the Israeli state” (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998.321-323).154). For example. due to “skewed occupational distribution” that is only concentrated in lower income and manual labor jobs. Israeli constitutional laws and national policies are not neutral and. p. Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed. Palestinians also suffer from discriminative and restrictive economic measures in Israel. p.22). instead. p. visibly establish “ethnic exclusivity” (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998.440) criticizes Israel’s “overt use of ethnicity to distinguish between categories of citizenship” as being offensive to anyone who is committed to liberal democratic values.27). the ethnic cleansing or first “Nakba” of Palestinians proceeded under Jewish military forces (White 2009. Palestinians rarely obtain “high positions in government offices and ministries or in the industrial and agricultural firms controlled by the government” (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998. p.403). as well as relative absences of “managerial and supervisory roles” (Farsoun and Aruri 2006. As opposed to citizenship. p.443).321).321). It has 6 . Following the official establishment of the Israeli state in May 1948. military service is a crucial element to citizenship and since Palestinians are not allowed to join the nation’s military. p. p. the belonging to a certain ethnic group determines the extent of state provisioned services and privileges people can enjoy (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998. p. p. An ethnic democracy serves national goals of a particular and usually dominant ethnic group (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998.Student #: 4413997 contradicts the notion of equality to be shared by all citizens of Israel. Nationality. “provides the epistemological grounds for ethnic equality among Jews” but also tends to popularize “inequality between Jew and non-Jew” (Handelmann 1994. Peled (1992. over 700. Arab Israelis are painstakingly excluded from “political. or le’om. Israel’s “ethno-nationalist discourse of inclusion and exclusion” has legitimized the discrimination between Jewish and Palestinian citizens (Peled and Sharif 1996. alternatives to military service have not seriously been considered (Peled and Sharif 1996. p. Unsurprisingly.000 people became displaced and it is estimated that over thirty massacres were carried out within Israel’s first year (White 2009. social.396). p.328).328). Several scholars describe Israel as an ethnic democracy (Rouhana and Ghanem 1998. p. p.391). Furthermore.
33). “Present absentees” represent one in four Palestinians whose rights to property are restricted by the Absentee Property Law and remain internally displaced (White 2009.45).144). p.56). not only are Palestinians struggling for full equality as citizens of Israel.40). While many of these internal refugees have been given Israeli citizenship. traumatized. Obtaining citizenship 7 . p. These two territories are referred to as the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) (White 2009. p. dispossessed. or social rights” and function “merely as Israel’s… cheap and flexible labor supply. they also yearn for “the right of return and compensation” for internally displaced peoples and refugees (Farsoun and Aruri 2006. and others “could [later] apply for citizenship under the Nationality Law in 1950” (Peled 1992.000 Palestinians expelled or fleeing from the Gaza Strip and West Bank (White 2009. The Absentee Property Law of 1950 declared Palestinian “land [as] ‘abandoned’ if the owner or owners were absent for…just one day from November 1947” onward (White 2009.36). p. p. Palestinians also suffer “legal invisibility. The second Nakba occurred in 1967 during the Six Day War.Student #: 4413997 been argued that. This enabled the Israeli government to seize land that the military had secured over the years through massacres and expulsions of Palestinians.144). Missing from any official map. 36).55). non-citizen Palestinians possess no “effective civil. p. According to the Law of Return of 1950. p. with around 300.442). they remain “dispersed. p. p. political. p. p. p. In both Nakbas. Palestinian homes are also frequently targeted for demolition (White 2009. Palestinians who were displaced or sought refuge in other countries were not allowed to return to their homes (White 2009. every Jew in the world is entitled to Israeli citizenship “provided they take up residence in Israel” (Handelmann 1994. Palestinians who remained after the Arab Israeli War were granted Israeli citizenship. therefore making these villages illegal (White 2009.55). and made destitute” (Farsoun and Aruri 2006.55). overall.” in which some villages are unrecognized by the Israeli government and internally displaced Palestinians are regarded as “present absentees” (White 2009.404). Today. around 87 percent of Palestinians were removed during this time (White 2009. captive consumers and taxpayers” (Semyonov and Lewin-Epstein 1987 in Peled and Sharif 1996. In the OPT. p.172). p. Over 100 unrecognized villages are located in what the Israeli government has deemed “non-residential” areas. these villages do not receive government services even though Palestinians with citizenship status are still required to pay many of the same taxes as Israelis (Farsoun and Aruri 2006.435). p.
Palestinian suffering will remain until oppressive Zionist governance and policies are eradicated. despite citizenship status. Substantive citizenship allows more access and equality of benefits and justice to populations within set territories. would the perspectives favoring substantive citizenship influence governmental and institutional changes within Israel? Naïve optimism aside. especially in cases of marginalized minority groups. The importance of substantive citizenship cannot be denied and the application and extension of substantive rights are well documented throughout this essay. 53). As a marginalized and oppressed minority in an ethnic democratic state.953 8 . p. It is important to look beyond political and civil rights offered by formal citizenship and to incorporate social and economic elements addressed more fully by substantive citizenship theorists. Palestinians are in dire need of substantive rights to counter the inequalities they are subjected to. but not necessary of its citizens.402). If Israeli government officials could read this assignment. institutions. are systematically discriminated against through constitutional law and policies. Israel’s 2008 budget allocation for Arab Israelis. there is still hope for change. Word count: 2. From the Arab Israeli point of view. p. substantive citizenship offers potential solutions to apparent flaws of formal citizenship. and by state agencies and their procedures. even with the provision of substantive rights. Palestinian social welfare faces serious deprivation with the absence of substantive rights. was just over four percent. It must be noted however that. Concluding Remarks As exemplified by the Palestinian case in Israel.Student #: 4413997 status on the basis of ‘Jewishness’ is highly offensive to Palestinians. the provision of land and citizenship to “Jews all over the world. Palestinians living within Israel. for example. degrades [Palestinians] to a status of invisible outsiders” (Smooha 1990. despite the fact that Palestinian citizens make up twenty percent of the population and that “half of Arab families are below the poverty line” (White 2009.
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