Genealogies of Citizenship: Markets,Statelessness and the Right to Have Rights

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Genealogies of Citizenship is a remarkable rethinking of human rights and social justice. As global governance is increasingly driven by market fundamentalism, growing numbers of citizens have become socially excluded and internally stateless. Against this movement to organize society exclusively by market principles, Margaret Somers argues that socially inclusive democratic rights must be counter-balanced by the powers of a social state, a robust public sphere and a relationally-sturdy civil society. Through epistemologies of history and naturalism, contested narratives of social capital, and Hurricane Katrina's racial apartheid, she warns that the growing authority of the market is distorting the non-contractualism of citizenship; rights, inclusion and moral worth are increasingly dependent on contractual market value. In this pathbreaking work, Somers advances an innovative view of rights as public goods rooted in an alliance of public power, political membership, and social practices of equal moral recognition - the right to have rights.