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Citizenship Scarcity And State Weakness: Learning From The Colombian Experience

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the following issues through a reflection on citizenship in Colombia: (1) what does citizenship look like in relatively weak states, and weak democracies in particular; (2) is the idea of the citizenry and the relation between state and society the same in weak states, only less developed, or are there operative fundamentally different definitions of what it means to be a citizen; (3) are weaker notions of citizenship necessarily one of the markers of weak states; (4) what is the importance of citizenship to state building. The chapter reviews the principal strains of citizenship theory and current debates. It then analyses contemporary citizenship in Colombia through the lens of each theoretical tradition. Drawing on Colombias experience, the chapter concludes with some observations on the links between citizenship, state strength and state building.

Keywords: citizenship scarcity; Colombian society; state building; state weakness; weak democracies



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