Substantive Citizenship Essay

430 Words2 Pages
Q. What are the links between democracy, social justice and citizenship? Refer to the concept of substantive citizenship. The Marshallian definition of citizenship is the participation in civic, political and welfare institutions of modern society (Turner 1993, p.176). The Rawlsian concept of social justice can be broadly defined by its three constituent parts: what a person owes society, what people in that society owe each other and what society owes the people (Chenoweth & McAuliffe 2012, pp.41-42). Democracy is the notion that the government is accountable to the people through the citizens’ participation in free association and election (Woodward, Parkin & Summers 2010, p.3). The common thread which runs through and holds each of these concepts together is participation. Right here a diagnostic distinction can be made between a formal citizen and a substantive citizen. The former is merely a legal status and ensures some basic negative rights (Galligan & Chesterman 1999, p.8); while the later means participation and validation in the democratic process through the active disinterest of the public good (Saul 1997, p.79). Cox (2000, pp.56-65) and Rowse (2000, pp.86-98) both illuminate the concept of the substantive citizen and their active participation in forming the way democracy, social justice and citizenship are defined in Australia. The former has it within the struggle for women’s equality and the removal of the walls separating the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spheres. The later shows it in the struggle for Indigenous citizenship and land rights, and the transformation of the concept of ‘citizen as rights’ to a concept of ‘citizen as capacity’. Progress in either case was not achieved through passive apathy; it was achieved through disenfranchised people who fought the government to make right and to play an equal part in the enterprise. Word count
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