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    'Subjects' of 'citizens' of 'erewhon?': law and non-law in the development of a 'British citizenship'

    Everson, Michelle (2003) 'Subjects' of 'citizens' of 'erewhon?': law and non-law in the development of a 'British citizenship'. Citizenship Studies 7 (1), pp. 57-83. ISSN 1362-1025.

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    Abstract

    The UK is agog with modernisation. The dissolution of the House of Lords, devolution and a potentially Parliament-trumping Bill of Human Rights; no British political institution appears to be sacrosanct. Nonetheless, as the following paper argues, it as yet unclear whether such modernisation will affect deep-seated historical trends within the British polity; trends which stubbornly survived even the 'constitutional moment' of the post-war creation of a democratic welfare state, and which continue to perceive of the individual Briton's relationship with the British State (that is, British citizenship) in implicitly hierarchical terms. The modern Briton is no 'fellow-traveller' in a state constituted exclusively for its needs by its citizenry. Rather, the 'British subject' retains a feudal flavour, still linked, by simple virtue of common law and the constitutional 'non-definition' of modern British citizenship, to an outmoded monarchical Sovereign. And yet, such antiquinarianism may also bear the seeds of a modernism better suited to a postnational world. If the modern Briton is no citizen, neither is the British State the usual demagogic corporational bulwark against the self-definition of plural and private (non-state-derived) citizenship identities beyond or even within traditional sovereign boundaries. In conceiving of the Briton 'without' the British State, British, or more particularly common law, has perhaps, and however incidentally, provided Europe and its evolving law with a blueprint for the evolution of dynamic rather than dynastic concepts of legal rather than statist citizenship.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Law
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 12:13
    Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 12:13
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/25321

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