Towards de-Westernism in citizenship studies: implications from China

Modern citizenship is Western-centric, featuring Weberianism and Marshallianism as core paradigms. That orthodox view obscures the diversity of citizenship. Over the past three decades, three trends in citizenship studies have challenged this ‘orthodox consensus’: the diversification of the subjects and contents of citizenship rights; ‘citizenship after Orientalism’, which advocates bringing oriental societies into citizenship studies; and ‘acts of citizenship’, which shifts the core of citizenship from rights to acts. Sharing ‘de-Westernism’ as a goal, these approaches promote the study of citizenship from a wider range of perspectives. The Chinese experience of citizenship shows that de-Westernism needs to be taken further. We need to adopt even more diverse perspectives to further de-Westernise and enrich our understanding of citizenship. In this paper, ‘contextualism’ and the ‘tree of citizenship’ are advocated as more strongly de-Westernised perspectives.

Zhonghua Guo, Towards de-Westernism in citizenship studies: implications from China, Citizenship Studies, 2022.