Citizenship in Liberal Democracy: Overcoming Barriers to Inclusion
This paper will argue that theories of contemporary liberal democratic citizenship, whilst purporting to be inclusive, continue to prioritise certain voices over others, leading to the continuing existence of deep and troubling injustice amongst democratic citizens. It is therefore proposed that in order to ensure a fairer approach to inclusion within democratic citizenship, it is necessary to first recognise that democracy embodies a prior commitment at both the individual and institutional level, to study the picture within which contemporary politics takes place. This will help us to revise and rearticulate this sphere constantly in the hope of working towards a more just and inclusive democratic society. The paper will question whether the potential for this is limited by the current liberal manifestation of democratic citizenship. It will therefore conclude that for democratic citizenship to be inclusive, whilst also working towards the elimination of injustice, it will be necessary to uncouple contemporary democratic practice from the dominant liberal tradition, in favour of a more radical, revisable and therefore responsive, democratic model.
Keywords: Citizenship, Inclusion, Democracy, Voice, Identity, Culture, Truth and Perspective
Ms Clare Woodford
PhD Candidate, Department of Politics and International Relations