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Rethinking political subjectification: equality beyond a community of sameness

Pettersson, Jonna LU (2011) In Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory 12(3). p.255-269
Abstract
Attempts to engage critically with citizenship, both within critical human rights theory and within cosmopolitan and multicultural citizenship theory, often underline how the status of the citizen has ceased to be perceived as a privilege and is instead viewed in terms of universal access to political rights and political participation. The political man is thus constituted by his citizenship and not the other way around. As a consequence, the universal rights of man have disappeared into the particular rights of the citizen as the emancipated individual man they seek to address has turned into a member of a people.



This article aims to reconsider the critique forwarded by critical human rights theory and argues that it... (More)
Attempts to engage critically with citizenship, both within critical human rights theory and within cosmopolitan and multicultural citizenship theory, often underline how the status of the citizen has ceased to be perceived as a privilege and is instead viewed in terms of universal access to political rights and political participation. The political man is thus constituted by his citizenship and not the other way around. As a consequence, the universal rights of man have disappeared into the particular rights of the citizen as the emancipated individual man they seek to address has turned into a member of a people.



This article aims to reconsider the critique forwarded by critical human rights theory and argues that it reasserts the division between those capable of doing politics and those who are not, through excluding the latter from any political sphere and preventing them from articulating their own exclusion and inequality. The text further contends that both the cosmopolitan and multicultural views on citizenship draw on an identitarian politics, which conflates equality with sameness and reproduces the hierarchy of inequalities it sets up.



Instead, this article turns to Rancière's elaboration on the concept of equality, and discusses its consequences for political subjectification. It is suggested that Rancière's articulation of the political subject as one that defies the distinction between man and citizen through acts of disagreement resets the grounds for political inclusion. Rather than citizens, it is thus the stateless or the migrants, who challenge the borders of the community as well as its political consensus, that constitute political actors. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory
volume
12
issue
3
pages
255 - 269
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:84879732105
ISSN
1600-910X
DOI
10.1080/1600910X.2011.614814
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8dcfacf0-9103-422f-a399-bc5c240a509e (old id 3630046)
date added to LUP
2013-04-05 09:48:06
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:50:53
@article{8dcfacf0-9103-422f-a399-bc5c240a509e,
  abstract     = {Attempts to engage critically with citizenship, both within critical human rights theory and within cosmopolitan and multicultural citizenship theory, often underline how the status of the citizen has ceased to be perceived as a privilege and is instead viewed in terms of universal access to political rights and political participation. The political man is thus constituted by his citizenship and not the other way around. As a consequence, the universal rights of man have disappeared into the particular rights of the citizen as the emancipated individual man they seek to address has turned into a member of a people.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This article aims to reconsider the critique forwarded by critical human rights theory and argues that it reasserts the division between those capable of doing politics and those who are not, through excluding the latter from any political sphere and preventing them from articulating their own exclusion and inequality. The text further contends that both the cosmopolitan and multicultural views on citizenship draw on an identitarian politics, which conflates equality with sameness and reproduces the hierarchy of inequalities it sets up.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Instead, this article turns to Rancière's elaboration on the concept of equality, and discusses its consequences for political subjectification. It is suggested that Rancière's articulation of the political subject as one that defies the distinction between man and citizen through acts of disagreement resets the grounds for political inclusion. Rather than citizens, it is thus the stateless or the migrants, who challenge the borders of the community as well as its political consensus, that constitute political actors.},
  author       = {Pettersson, Jonna},
  issn         = {1600-910X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {255--269},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory},
  title        = {Rethinking political subjectification: equality beyond a community of sameness},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1600910X.2011.614814},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2011},
}