European Citizenship

Espen D. H. Olsen contributes with a chapter on European citizenship in the Handbook of Political Citizenship and Social Movements.

About the book

Since the 1960s, social movements and political citizenship have become buzzwords not only in social and political life but also in social and political science. The impact of the environmental and women’s movements, and the advance of multicultural, European and cosmopolitan citizenship in modern history are cases in point.

The study of citizenship traditionally refers to the individual dimension of social and political behavior. Social movement studies, however, refer to the collective dimension of such behavior. Despite distinct trajectories in their theoretical development, the social movement and citizenship paradigms converge where social movements are viewed as collective forms of political citizenship. This Handbook uniquely collates results of several decades of academic research in these two fields.

The expert contributions successively address the different forms of political citizenship and current approaches and recent developments in social movement studies. Salient social movements in recent history are explored in depth, covering the environmental, women’s, international human rights, urban, Tea Party, and animal rights movements. Social movements and political citizenship in the ‘global South’: China, India, Africa, and the Arab World, are discussed, presenting a novel empirical insight into these fields of study.

European citizenship

Espen D. H. Olsen charts the vast research field on European citizenship that has blossomed since citizenship became 'official' in European integration through so-called Union citizenship in the Maastricht Treaty. In so doing, the chapter focuses primarily on the political science literature with certain forays into political philosophy and European law where needed. As this volume deals with political citizenship and social movements, specific emphasis is put on different strands of research that focus on the meaning of European citizenship and its development as a specific kind of citizenship institution 'beyond' the nation-state.

Olsen outlines three main approaches to the study of citizenship. Focus is on theoretical questions regarding its viability, historical and institutional accounts of its incremental development, and normative issues as to the desirability of forging citizenship outside the nation state. He finally addresses the link between the rights of European citizenship and social movements, with special emphasis on the potential of political and social mobilization of citizens in times of crisis.

Full info

Espen D. H. Olsen
'European Citizenship'

In: Handbook Of Political Citizenship And Social Movements
Hein-Anton van der Heijden (ed.)

Edward Elgar, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-78195-469-0


Published Nov. 10, 2014 1:24 PM - Last modified Jan. 26, 2022 1:12 PM