Citizenship is a contested concept. Many theorists agree that to be a citizen of a state is to enjoy various rights and to be under various duties, but they disagree about what rights a person must enjoy to be a full citizen of a state, and about what duties a person incurs as a citizen. This module explores these issues mainly (though not exclusively) in the context of debates about the normative significance of cultural diversity and religious pluralism.
You’ll be introduced to some different normative theories of citizenship, including liberal and republican theories, and engage in a critical evaluation of them. Then, you’ll distinguish various normative approaches to cultural and religious diversity, including assimilationism, integrationism, ‘benign neglect’, and multiculturalism, and you’ll be invited to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these contrasting approaches. Finally, you’ll examine a number of different policy areas, such as the public funding of faith schools, the legal accommodation of cultural diversity, and citizenship tests, in the light of the different theories of citizenship introduced earlier and the different normative approaches to cultural and religious diversity.