Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

World Order and Citizenship: Paths beyond the Nation-State

World Order and Citizenship: Paths beyond the Nation-State At the dawn of Western civilization, we find two conceptions of citizenship: the one arising in Athens, the other inspired by Jerusalem. The first conception, associated with the name of Aristotle, is that of the "polites" or member of the city-state. The second conception, most prominently formulated by St. Augustine, assumes a dual citizenship namely, membership in two cities, the earthly city and the heavenly city. The entire history of Western civilization unfolds as the tension or antagonism between the two conceptions or between Athens and Jerusalem. As is evident from these "founding" conceptions, cizitenship is not merely a matter of formal, legal status but points to a deeper dimension: to what it means to be human and to live together properly with others in this world. In the context of Western modernity, the legacies of Athens and Jerusalem are often forgotten or sidelined -but at a cost. Under the aegis of modern liberalism, citizenship is often portrayed as a formal-legal contract, without any deeper allegiance. However, the exiled civic bond returns through the bacdoor: in the form of the backlash of nationalism and ethic or religious "identity." It is preciesly this combination of legal formalism and particularistic "identity" which is at the heart of the modern "nation-state." The article discusses citizenship in the modern nation-state and possible paths beyond it in three steps. After tracing initially the emergence of the modern conception, I examine the main theoretical quandaries and antinomies besetting nation-state citizenship. By way of conclusion, I discuss a number of "transnational" or global options, invoking for this purpose both the Aristotelian notion of a just community (restyled as cosmopolis) and the Augustinian reflections on the "pilgrim city."


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