‘Citizenship’ is a legal relationship in which a person owes allegiance to a state, and is entitled to certain rights and responsibilities. It entails some form of political participation, including voting, military service, and participation in the political system. It also provides an individual with many protections and freedoms. Despite its importance, however, citizenship is a complex and multi-dimensional reality that constantly changes within societies. The question of whether and how citizenship can be meaningful outside a nation-state is being increasingly debated.
In a democratic society, a person’s citizenship can be defined as the active participation in the system of rights and responsibilities. This can be viewed as a way to protect the individual from state oppression. In the United States, citizenship means that the individual is protected by all federal laws. In addition, the United States guarantees non-discrimination. This includes citizenship by descent, which refers to family-based status.
A person can also be a citizen of the United States if he is a naturalized citizen. He must meet certain societal standards, including filing income tax returns. The term citizenship is also used for other purposes, such as loyalty. A deer is a citizen of our woods. A Russian spy tried to secure an internship at the International Criminal Court under the guise of being a Brazilian citizen. Interestingly, both words are used in the United Kingdom, where a citizen is a naturalized or native person, and a subject is someone who has a legal subordinate position to a monarch. In common-law usage, the word subject is used in preference to citizen.
Citizenship is a term that has evolved and changed throughout the history of civilizations. It originally related to the small-scale organic communities that emerged in the ancient Greek polis, where the obligation of citizenship was deeply connected with the everyday life of the community. Citizenship could be seen as a social good, which allowed members of the community to participate in public life. However, the concept of citizenship might have only worked in certain circumstances. It could also be a reward for people who fulfilled certain duties or responsibilities.
Citizenship could be acquired on several bases, such as the expectation of future service, military service, or a feeling of belonging. It was sometimes based on membership in a borough, or on being an individual of respectable means. It was also dependent on various biopolitical assemblages. However, the term citizen came to be associated with a higher status than non-citizens, as in the case of the polis. The Athenian politician Solon introduced reforms in the early Athenian state, which involved making citizens of certain groups of individuals.
The concept of citizenship varies throughout the world, depending on a country’s history, politics, and ideology. Some countries, such as Italy, France, and Canada, limit citizenship by descent to a certain number of generations born abroad, while others, such as Germany, offer citizenship without a deadline. Interestingly, citizenship by descent is a common concept in civil law countries.