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Volume 14, Number 17
September 6, 2008

opinion

Also in this section:
Editorial, Unifying the opposition and Biden vs. Palin
Sirias, The vision that lived on
Endara Hill, The powers that be in Wonderland
Thompson, The first VP candidate since Teddy Roosevelt who can field dress a moose
Clinton, Time to take back the country we love
Pilgrim, Issues vs. perceptions in the US elections
Weisbrot, Labor law reform riding on the November election results
Setrini, Stiglitz has the right idea and Friedman had the wrong one
Human Rights Watch, Mexico City's abortion legalization upheld
Reporters Without Borders, Online journalist slain in Russian police custody
Committee to Protect Journalists, More attacks on journalists in Russia's Muslim regions
Abeyta, The case for extraditing Goni and his accomplice
Greenpeace, Australia's Great Barrier Reef saved from oil shale extraction
Elzufon, Martín's velvet coup
Jackson, Government and its owners lash out at media they don't control
Leis, Citizens' democracy
Bernal, Abuse of authority
Letters to the editor

Democracy of citizenship
by Raúl Leis R. --- raulleisr@hotmail.com

Citizenship is a social construct that's founded, on the one hand, on a confluence of material and institutional conditions and on the other, in a certain image of the common good and of the way to achieve it. It's equivalent of saying that it's always the object of a struggle, according to José Nun. The truth is that globalization tends to configure the present world order in what Francisco Lavolpe identifies as new categories of citizenship, global citizenship and protocitizenship. The first is integrated into the world economy, especially by consumption, and shares its cultural guidelines as well as access to technology and global communication, the well-being of urban safety, and the political and social rights that are attributes of modern democracy.

And then protocitizenship is associated with marginality and exclusion from economic, social and cultural benefits, this status being a phenomenon of a structural nature which is fond in underdeveloped countries and among the lower social ranks of the developed ones. This type of citizenship shows by its devalued socio-economic conditions, creating a situation in which fundamental rights are palpably abridged or obstructed.

How to reduce this asymmetrical gap? The agenda that the Democracy in Latin American report points toward the expansion of citizenship. This expansion is associated with an impulse toward holistic citizenship that includes full recognition of political citizenship, civil citizenship and social citizenship, which go beyond the political regime and its institutional rules, as it posits that people must have full access to their inalienable civic, social, economic and cultural rights, which are seen as a coherent and interlinked whole.

Democracy carries with it a concept of the person and the construct of citizenship, as it is a form of organization of power that supposes the existence and proper functioning of the state. According to the report, political citizenship in effect unravels in the electoral democracies that are not enriched by the democracy of citizenship.

Civil citizenship is among the important accomplishments in the field of human rights legislation, but the scant capacity of states to guarantee these rights in practice is cause for concern.

The progress made in relation to respect for the rights to life, personal inviolability, security and non-discrimination has been irregular and in some cases insufficient. The social citizenship situation is worrisome and is the principal challenged, as those sectors most excluded from the full exercise of social citizenship coincide with those affected in civil and political citizenship. The key problems are poverty, exclusion and inequality, which impede people from manifesting themselves as citizens with full and equal rights in the public sphere, which limits their inclusion in society.





Also in this section:
Editorial, Unifying the opposition and Biden vs. Palin
Sirias, The vision that lived on
Endara Hill, The powers that be in Wonderland
Thompson, The first VP candidate since Teddy Roosevelt who can field dress a moose
Clinton, Time to take back the country we love
Pilgrim, Issues vs. perceptions in the US elections
Weisbrot, Labor law reform riding on the November election results
Setrini, Stiglitz has the right idea and Friedman had the wrong one
Human Rights Watch, Mexico City's abortion legalization upheld
Reporters Without Borders, Online journalist slain in Russian police custody
Committee to Protect Journalists, More attacks on journalists in Russia's Muslim regions
Abeyta, The case for extraditing Goni and his accomplice
Greenpeace, Australia's Great Barrier Reef saved from oil shale extraction
Elzufon, Martín's velvet coup
Jackson, Government and its owners lash out at media they don't control
Leis, Citizens' democracy
Bernal, Abuse of authority
Letters to the editor

 
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