Exploring the Edge of Citizenship
The interdisciplinary research project ‘Exploring the Edge of Citizenship’ draws together humanities and social science approaches to questioning what is meant by defining ‘community’ and ‘citizenship’ as positive values. It investigates how the practices and assumptions of citizenship always come with an edge: a potential or actual burden of exclusions, marginalisations and disparagements of those who do not fit as well as others into the dominant models of citizenship. Just as ‘communities’ often function best when closing ranks against outsiders, so ‘citizenship’ is often easiest to implement in practice by drawing sharp lines between insiders and outsiders.
All of this, both conceptually and in everyday political and social practice, represents a significant challenge to building futures which are grounded in the democratic participation of highly-diverse populations of individuals. The ‘edge of citizenship’ is not just a descriptive matter of centres and peripheries, but often an active cutting edge of division and harm.