NEH banner [Return to Query]

Products for grant FA-52618-06

The Making of Modern Citizenship Rights, England, 1200-1850
Margaret Somers, Regents of the University of Michigan

Grant details:

Genealogies of Citizenship: Markets, Statelessness, and the Right to Have Rights (Book)
Title: Genealogies of Citizenship: Markets, Statelessness, and the Right to Have Rights
Author: Margaret R. Somers
Abstract: As market fundamentalism has moved from the margins of debate to global doctrine, three decades of market-driven governance is transforming growing numbers of rights-bearing citizens into socially excluded internally stateless persons. Against this perilous movement to organize society exclusively by market principles, Margaret Somers argues that the fragile project of sustaining socially inclusive democratic rights requires the countervailing powers of a social state, a robust public sphere to hold it accountable, and a relationally sturdy civil society. In this original and path breaking work, from historical epistemologies of social capital and naturalism, to contested narratives of civil society and the public sphere, to Hurricane Katrina’s racial apartheid, Somers alerts us that the growing moral authority of the market is distorting the meaning of citizenship from noncontractual shared fate to conditional privilege, making rights, inclusion and moral worth dependent on contractual market value. Genealogies of Citizenship advances an innovative view of rights as necessary public goods rooted in an alliance of public power, political membership and social practices of equal moral recognition – in short, the right to have rights. A remarkable rethinking of freedom, human rights and social justice, this is social theory and political, economic and cultural sociology at its best.
Year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No