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By Engin F. Isin

This ebook introduces the idea that "acts of citizenship" as a way to re-orientate the way in which citizenship reports has been investigated during the last decade. The authors argue that investigating acts of citizenship in phrases irreducible to both prestige or perform, whereas nonetheless valuing this contrast, calls for a spotlight on these moments and techniques wherein topics represent themselves as voters. Their research contains a sustained engagement with interdisciplinary suggestion, drawing from new advancements not just in politics, sociology, geography and anthropology but additionally psychoanalysis, philosophy and background.

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Extra resources for Acts of Citizenship

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Citizenship studies often proceeds with a focus on the three ontic aspects of citizenship: extent (rules and norms of exclusion and inclusion), content (rights and responsibilities) and depth (thickness or thinness of belonging). We can suggest that these aspects of citizenship arrive at the scene too late and provide too little for interpreting acts of citizenship. They arrive too late because the actors of extent, content and depth are already produced; for acts produce actors that do not exist before acts.

To act means to set something in motion, to begin not just something new but oneself as the being that acts to begin itself (p. 177). Since we are beings endowed with the capacity to act (or, as Sartre would say, since ‘to be is to act’), and because to act is to realize a rupture in the given, ‘to act’ always means to enact the unexpected, unpredictable and the unknown (Sartre 1957, p. 613). As Arendt puts it rather evocatively, ‘[T]he human heart is the only thing in the world that will take upon itself the burden that the divine gift of action, of being a beginning and therefore being able to make a beginning, has placed upon us’ (Arendt 2005, p.

Like Lacan, Arendt also defines the act as a fundamental human capacity. Arendt often argues that being political means the capacity to act (Arendt 1969, p. 179). But if to act is no mere behaviour, what is its essence? She ascribes particular importance to the ancient Greek conception of act, which means both governing and beginning (Arendt 1958, p. 177). To act means to set something in motion, to begin not just something new but oneself as the being that acts to begin itself (p. 177). Since we are beings endowed with the capacity to act (or, as Sartre would say, since ‘to be is to act’), and because to act is to realize a rupture in the given, ‘to act’ always means to enact the unexpected, unpredictable and the unknown (Sartre 1957, p.

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