Next Article in Journal
Soviet Central Asia and the Preservation of History
Previous Article in Journal
“Hopefully I Won’t Be Misunderstood.” Disability Rhetoric in Jürg Acklin’s Vertrauen ist gut
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sharing Histories: Teaching and Learning from Displaced Youth in Greece
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030072

Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WC1B 5DQ, UK
Received: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3135 KB, uploaded 20 July 2018]

Abstract

Some dominant traditions in Refugee Studies have stressed the barrier which state citizenship presents to the displaced. Some have condemned citizenship altogether as a mechanism and ideology for excluding the weak (G. Agamben). Others have seen citizenship as an acute problem for displaced people in conditions, like those of the modern world, where the habitable world is comprehensively settled by states capable of defending their territory and organised in accordance with interstate norms, which leaves very limited space for the foundation of new communities with their own meaningful citizenship (H. Arendt). This paper engages with these prominent approaches, but also with more recent arguments that, when handled and adapted in the right way, the practices and ideology of citizenship also present opportunities for the displaced to form their own meaningful communities, exercise collective agency, and secure rights. It is argued that the evidence from ancient Greece shows that ancient Greek citizenship, an early forerunner of modern models of citizenship, could be imaginatively harnessed and adapted by displaced people and groups, in order to form effective and sometimes innovative political communities in exile, even after opportunities to found new city-states from scratch became quite rare (after c. 500 BC). Some relevant displaced groups experimented with more open and cosmopolitan styles of civic interaction and ideology in their improvised quasi-civic communities. The different kinds of ancient Greek informal ‘polis-in-exile’ can bring a new perspective on the wider debates and initiatives concerning refugee political agency and organisation in the ‘provocations’ in this special issue. View Full-Text
Keywords: Refugees; exile; city-state; polis; Ancient Greece; citizenship; agency; cosmopolitanism Refugees; exile; city-state; polis; Ancient Greece; citizenship; agency; cosmopolitanism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Gray, B. Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees. Humanities 2018, 7, 72.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top