Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 29, 2007

Why Citizenship: Where, When and How Children?

  • Ruth Lister

This Article addresses the general question of "why citizenship?" through the lens of children’s citizenship. It unpacks the different elements of substantive citizenship and considers what they mean for children: membership and participation; rights; responsibilities; and equality of status, respect and recognition. It then discusses the lessons that may be learned from feminist critiques of mainstream constructions of citizenship, paying particular attention to the question of capacity for citizenship. It concludes by suggesting that much of the literature that is making the case for recognition of children as citizens is not so much arguing for the wholesale extension of adult rights and obligations of citizenship to children but recognition that children’s citizenship practices constitute them as de facto, even if not complete de jure, citizens. More broadly, the Article argues that this position points towards an understanding of citizenship which embraces but goes beyond that of a bundle of rights.

Published Online: 2007-5-29

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 24.9.2023 from
Scroll to top button