Nationality or citizenship?

There is no image that symbolises nationalism than the flag
By Engin Isin · 14 July 2010
There is no image that symbolises nationalism than the flag

There is no image that symbolizes nationalism more poignantly than the flag. In this photograph I took in Toronto during the 2002 World Cup a number of fans were celebrating the victory of their ‘nation’. There has been so much discussion about whether nationality is an immutable identity or an identity that is internalized and enacted. Those who believe that nationality (or nationalism) fulfills a human desire for belonging are as misguided are those who believe that nationalism is a flickering phenomenon. Untangling citizenship from nationality requires approaching political subjectivity in a different way that is both historical and social. How nationality came to be tangled up with each other is fairly well known. Why it persists is also quite well known. What is less straightforward is how to disentangle them.

About the author

  • Engin Isin

    Principal Investigator
    Engin Isin
    The Open University
    Prof Engin Isin holds a Chair in Citizenship and is Professor of Politics in Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University. He is also a past... Read more

Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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