Foundations of Citizenship Studies

Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

This seminar will provide a broad introduction into citizenship studies. The first section of the seminar examines the intellectual history of the concept in ancient Athens and Rome and traces its changing meanings in early modernity through the lens of contemporary republican and liberal theories of citizenship. The next three classes look at the late 20th century revival of citizenship theory. We discuss three influential strands: T.H. Marshalls historical account of the emergence of social citizenship, Michael Walzer’s communitarian conception of citizenship as membership, and Will Kymlicka’s liberal theory of multicultural citizenship. The final section of the seminar engages with comparative analyses and discusses trends that undermine the close association between citizenship and nation-states.

The seminar will make extensive use of chapters of the Oxford Handbook of Citizenship co-edited by Ayelet Shachar, Rainer Bauböck, Irene Bloemraad and Maarten Vink, Oxford University Press, 2017.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


-  Identify and understand different uses of citizenship as a concept

-  Critically discuss competing normative and historical theories of citizenship

-  Understand the empirical relations between citizenship and migration

-  Apply the concept of citizenship competently in their own research


Participants who take the course for credit are expected


  • to read all the texts marked as required reading (generally not more than 100 pages per week)
  • to prepare a short reaction paragraph (of 300 – 500 words) on the readings for each week and upload it on the seminar platform by Friday 12 am
  • to read all reaction paragraphs and engage actively in discussions in class
  • to introduce one seminar topic to the class (taking into account also additional readings)
  • to write a paper of not less than 3000 and not more than 5000 words. The topic of the paper must be agreed with the seminar instructor. The paper must be submitted until Nov 29.


(1)   Assessment of presentation (25% of the final grade): Each participant will give at least one presentation in class that will be assessed both in terms of content (coverage of the relevant literature, originality of the argument, own research) and didactic skills in the presentation.


(2) Assessment of participation (25% of the final grade): Delivery and quality of reaction paragraphs will be assessed alongside active participation in discussions during the class.


(3) Assessment of seminar paper (50% of the final grade): The seminar paper will be assessed in terms of originality and coherence of the argument and adequate coverage of the relevant literature.