The Polis Collection
(What remains) after citizenship
This collection is concerned with a wide range of topics that relate to the condition of citizenship and to its avatars in the present and in the future from a historical perspective. Included too are studies that seek to show contrasting reflections and imaginings made in the past about the relations between citizenship and social class in modern society.
The modern condition of the subject has been that of a citizen that asserts its rights and makes claims based on those rights through collective mobilisation and representative government. Today, however, we find ourselves entering a post-citizen phase of history in which, on the one hand, many national states continue to be subjected to interventions, either militarily or politically by supranational bodies; and, on the other hand, in which the condition of rights has been degraded everywhere to such an extent that they have dissolved into new forms of hierarchies that break with any notion of equality before the law.
On a social scale, amidst an unprecedented increase in inequality and the creation of an enormous ‘reserve’ of immigrants and displaced persons without rights, the contours of a new transnational middle-class identity are being sketched: A community whose hallmark is conspicuous consumption and in which middle class values are environmentally and ecologically unsustainable but culturally viable. At the same time however, within this emerging middle class setting politics in general and popular participation in particular have been gaining ground and are increasingly accepted as the fundamental tools for institutional change, as well as for the transformation of new forms of production and their social relations. However, the future of these social imaginaries is precarious and contingent.
This collection seeks works that think historically about this double process that looms over the globalised world, and that offer reflections on some of its offshoots –its multiple forms and expressions– as well as on alternatives to a framework in which ideological confrontations have been substituted by a language of conflicting civilizations –a language that, in effect, conceals a situation of civil war on a global scale.
We speak of ‘after citizenship’ because every day there are fewer of us who belong to the citizenry of this globalised world, and for those of us who do, we are qualitatively less citizens, and so we believe that we are better able to comprehend this tendency and its crossroads if we think historically about what remains after having situated in historical perspective the equality and inequality of the modern world. Also too if we think more historically about inclusion and exclusion, tolerance and fanaticism, biopolitics and the extermination of minorities and dissidents, human rights and the memory of their suppression, etc.
- Pablo Sánchez León, Maldita sea, Malcolm, no podemos traducir empowerment [Damn, Malcolm, We Cannot Translate Empowerment].
- Jack London, Al sur de la Falla [South of the Slot].
- Immanuel Wallerstein, Lo burgués (y la burguesía) como concepto y como realidad [The Bourgeois(ie) as Concept and Reality].
- Alessandro Pizzorno, Política absoluta, política sin límites [Absolute Politics, Politics Unbound].