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In much of the citizenship literature it is often considered, if not simply assumed, that citizenship is integral to the character of a self-determining community and that this process, by definition, involves the exclusion of resident ‘foreigners’.
Dora Kostakopoulou calls this assumption into question, arguing that ‘aliens’ are by definition outside the bounds of the community by virtue of a circular reasoning which takes for granted the existence of bounded national communities, and that this process of collective self-definition is deeply political and historically dated. Although national citizenship has enjoyed a privileged position in both theory and practice, its remarkable elasticity has reached its limit, thereby making it more important to find an alternative model.
Kostakopoulou develops a new institutional framework for anational citizenship, which can be grafted onto the existing state system, defends it against objections and proposes institutional reform based on an innovative approach to citizenship.