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The Legal Interpellation of Citizens – A Constitutional Analysis

Die juristische Anrufung von Staatsbürger:innen – Eine Verfassungsanalyse
Kathrin Behrens

Abstract

The aim of this article is to reconstruct the legal creation of citizen subjects by applying the interpellation theory of Louis Althusser in constitutional citizenship regulations. In addition, this article uncovers the patterns of constitutionally defined rights and duties as implications of intra-constitutional subject construction, especially in relation to a political, a civil and a social dimension. For this purpose, 41 constitutions are analysed quantitatively-descriptively based on an international comparative qualitative document analysis. The study shows that constitutions, as the most fundamental legal documents at the national level, define different formal-legal qualities of citizen subjects and thus determine very specific relations between the state and its citizens. The legal citizenship regulations in national constitutions thus contribute to the stabilization of social (b)order-drawing processes to the extent that they create and secure both barriers and opportunities for individual and collective participation in society, addressing these primarily through a political and less through a civil or social legal dimension.

Zusammenfassung

Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, die rechtliche Subjektherstellung von Staatsbürger:innen unter Anwendung der Anrufungstheorie von Louis Althusser in verfassungsrechtlichen Staatsbürgerschaftsregelungen zu rekonstruieren. Darüber hinaus widmet sich dieser Beitrag den Mustern verfassungsmäßig definierter Rechte und Pflichten als Konsequenz der intrakonstitutionellen Subjektkonstruktion, insbesondere entlang einer politischen, einer zivilen und einer sozialen Dimension. Zu diesem Zweck werden 41 Verfassungen – auf Grundlage einer international vergleichenden qualitativen Dokumentenanalyse – quantitativ-deskriptiv analysiert. Diese Arbeit zeigt, dass Verfassungen als die grundlegendsten nationalen Rechtsdokumente formal-rechtlich unterschiedliche Subjektqualitäten und damit spezifische Beziehungskonstellationen zwischen dem Staat und seinen Bürger:innen definieren. Die rechtlichen Staatsbürgerschaftsregelungen in den nationalen Verfassungen tragen damit insofern zur Stabilisierung sozialer Grenzziehungsprozesse bei, als dass sie sowohl Barrieren als auch Zugangsmöglichkeiten für die individuelle und kollektive Teilhabe an der Gesellschaft schaffen und absichern, wobei sie diese in erster Linie mittels einer politischen und weniger durch eine zivile oder soziale Rechtsdimension adressieren.

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Appendix

Appendix 1.

Number of constitutions regulating the right/duty [x].

(Number of Constitutions: N=41)

Right/Duty [x]

not mentioned

restricted

for citizens

for everyone

civil rights

(n)

(n)

(n)

(n)

(N)

legal counsel

9

0

0

32

41

speedy trial

19

0

1

21

41

fair trial

22

0

0

19

41

public trial

23

0

1

17

41

property

3

2

5

31

41

assembly

5

1

13

22

41

information/correspondence

13

0

8

20

41

life

14

0

0

27

41

personality

36

0

0

5

41

economic activity

27

0

1

13

41

freedom/inviolability/dignity

24

0

2

15

41

movement

8

1

14

18

41

privacy

15

0

4

22

41

expression/opinion/speech

3

0

8

30

41

academic freedom

23

0

1

17

41

safety of personal data

39

0

0

2

41

national/personal identity

34

0

1

6

41

defending fatherland

36

0

5

0

41

religious freedom

1

0

5

35

41

opinion/thought/conscience

11

0

4

26

41

happiness

39

0

0

2

41

political rights

vote

3

5

33

0

41

eligibility

4

23

14

0

41

petitions

18

1

6

16

41

criticise the state; resistance

38

0

1

2

41

demonstrate

30

0

2

9

41

associate/unionise/trade unions

4

1

11

25

41

political parties

23

0

9

9

41

social rights

work

7

0

12

22

41

strike

16

7

0

18

41

leisure

23

0

1

17

41

health

12

1

7

21

41

education

10

0

7

24

41

culture

23

1

2

15

41

social security

31

0

0

10

41

equal pay

31

0

0

10

41

protection of/healthy environment

31

0

0

10

41

welfare

(unemployment, disabled, elderly)

29

0

4

8

41

duties

defending fatherland

14

7

17

3

41

taxation

24

0

7

10

41

education

24

0

3

14

41

observing constitution/law

19

2

11

9

41

work

29

0

5

7

41

rising children/family planning

38

0

1

2

41

safeguard the nation

35

1

5

0

41

vote

40

0

0

1

41

Published Online: 2021-09-14
Published in Print: 2021-09-10

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