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Grant number like: FA-52618-06

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Margaret R. Somers
Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007

The Making of Modern Citizenship Rights, England, 1200-1850

My project explores the making of English citizenship. I trace its roots to the late-medieval legal revolutions and the local legal cultures to which they gave rise. I use narrative relational analysis to compare four such cultures. Only one combination of legal participation, family relationships, and type of public sphere nurtured the "narrative justice" associated with the rights of "Freeborn Englishmen" qua citizens. Historicizing England’s "Rule of Law" in its local workings provides an ideal terrain for a theory of citizenship formation--a project of compelling urgency in our post-communist era with its more stumbling than stellar efforts to achieve the full freedoms of democratic citizenship.