Saskia Sassen

Political Power and Social Theory, 2009


The changing articulation of citizenship is traced, both in relation to the national and the global. Conceiving of citizenship as an incompletely theorized contract between the state and the citizen, and locating her inquiry at that point of incompleteness, the author opens up the discussion to the making of the political. The central thesis is that the incompleteness of the formal institution of citizenship makes it possible for the outsider to claim for expanded inclusions. It is the outsider, whether a minoritized citizen or an immigrant, who has kept changing the institution across time and space. Times of unsettlement make this particularly visible. The current period of globalization is one such period, even though this is a partial unsettlement. New types of political actors are taking shape, changing the relationship between the state and the individual, and remaking the political.

View the article hereIncompleteness and the Possibility of Making: Towards Denationalized Citizenship?