Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780192802538

Richard Bellamy
152 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions



  • Explores notions of citizenship from a political perspective, asking what citizenship is, and why it matters
  • Highly topical issue - citizenship has become a buzz-word for politicians of all stripes, moral leaders, and every kind of campaigning group from the global to the local level
  • Looks at the teaching of citizenship in schools, citizenship tests for immigrants, and the many different definitions and types of citizenship in modern society
  • Examines the challenges confronting the very possibility of citizenship today, the impact of globalization, and the desirability of 'global citizenship'
  • Explores the many different theories of citizenship, and looks at concepts such as membership and belonging, and the relation between citizenship, rights, and democracy

Interest in citizenship has never been higher. But what does it mean to be a citizen of a modern, complex community? Why is citizenship important? Can we create citizenship, and can we test for it? 

In this fascinating Very Short Introduction, Richard Bellamy explores the answers to these questions and more in a clear and accessible way. He approaches the subject from a political perspective, to address the complexities behind the major topical issues. Discussing the main models of citizenship, exploring how ideas of citizenship have changed through time from ancient Greece to the present, and examining notions of rights and democracy, he reveals the irreducibly political nature of citizenship today.

"Citizenship is a vast subject for a short introduction, but Richard Bellamy has risen to the challenge with aplomb." - Mark Garnett, TLS

"[Bellamy] advances a distinct and provocative view of citizenship." - Mark Garnett, TLS

"One can only hope that well-argued...tracts like this will remind govenments and voters that citizenship involves duties as well as rights." - Mark Garnett, TLS


1: What is citizenship, and why does it matter?
2: Theories of citizenship and their history
3: Membership and belonging
4: Rights and the right to have rights
5: Democracy and participation
References and Further Reading


Richard Bellamy is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the School of Public Policy at University College, London. He has written 6 monographs to date, edited or co-edited a further 20 volumes and is the author of over a 100 journal articles and book chapters. His main books include Modern Italian Social Theory: Ideology and Politics from Pareto to the Present; Liberalism and Modern Society: An Historical Argument; Liberalism and Pluralism: Towards a Politics of Compromise and, as co-editor, Constitutionalism in Transformation: European and Theoretical Perspectives. He regularly appears on TV and radio, and has written for newspapers including The Guardian and The Times Literary Supplement.

Interest in citizenship has never been higher. But what does it mean to be a citizen in a modern, complex community? Richard Bellamy approaches the subject of citizenship from a political perspective and, in clear and accessible language, addresses the complexities behind this highly topical issue.