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Local Citizenship in a Global Age
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: June 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781316661352
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Book description

Although it is usually assumed that only the federal government can confer citizenship, localities often give residents who are noncitizens at the federal level the benefits of local citizenship: access to medical care, education, housing, security, labor and consumer markets, and even voting rights. In this work, Kenneth A. Stahl demonstrates that while the existence of these 'noncitizen citizens' has helped to reconcile competing commitments within liberal democracy to equality and community, the advance of globalization and the rise of nationalist political leaders like Donald Trump has caused local and federal citizenship to clash. For nationalists, localities' flexible approach to citizenship is a Trojan horse undermining state sovereignty from within, while liberals see local citizenship as the antidote to a reactionary ethnic nationalism. This book should be read by anyone who wants to understand why citizenship has become one of the most important issues in national politics today.


‘Drawing from political theory, social science, and law, Local Citizenship in a Global Age provides an in-depth account of the evolving role of cities, the tension between community and mobility, and the complex nature of citizenship in our era. This is an important book for anyone interested in local government.'

Richard Briffault - Columbia University, Author of State and Local Government Law

‘A refreshing take on citizenship and the many ways that it is constructed. Challenging the traditional focus on nation-states, Stahl presents a convincing account of how membership and belonging at the local level has and continues to shape our understanding of what it means to be a citizen. A powerful antidote for our divided times.'

Rick Su - University of North Carolina

‘In a moment of fundamental disagreement between cities that embrace global interconnection and nations bent on the impossible task of walling themselves off, Ken Stahl has given us the definitive word on the nature of modern citizenship. Local Citizenship in a Global Age is a clarion call to reinvent what belonging and equality can mean from the bottom up.'

Nestor Davidson - Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law, Fordham University

‘An extraordinarily timely and important book that makes us rethink the nature of citizenship. Stahl is thoughtful and careful, and his ideas are wildly provocative.'

Christopher Serkin - Vanderbilt University, and author of The Law of Property


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