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Citizenship After Orientalism

City, Nation, Globe : three moments in the history of citizenship:

Prof Bryan Turner
This event took place on 6th February 2012 at 4:30pm (16:30 GMT)
Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall Campus, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

16:30 – 18:00 City, Nation, Globe: Three Movements in the History of Citizenship Bryan Turner (CUNY)

In order to frame a discussion of space, sovereignty and power in the construction of modern citizenship, I hang my argument on three events in Western history and three texts. These are the writing of St. Augustine’s The City of God (circa 413-426), the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and the Declaration of Human Rights (1948). All three texts are set against a background of violence and destruction : Alaric’s sacking of Rome in A.D. 410, the legacy of the Wars of Religion, and the civilian casualties of World War Two and the emerging recognition of the Holocaust. These settlements were woven around problems of difference, violence and exclusion: the Jews in early Christianity; Protestant dissent in relation to the authority of the Pope: and the fascist policy of ethnic cleansing. In short there were issues of human vulnerability behind all three. I argue that these three treaties involved a conceptualisation of the citizen with respect to the city, the nation and finally the globe. Each stage of the expansion of rights involved a breakdown of the previous framework such as the imperial city, the ecclesiastical structure and the nation-state system. Where and what is the breakdown of the rights regime created by the Declaration?

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