At the beginning of the twenty-first century the consequences of fundamental global economic, political, social and cultural transformations that have been underway for decades challenge modern citizenship. There can be no doubt that modern citizenship can no longer operate as it did in the second half of the twentieth century. Neither the politico-economic foundation nor the idea of political participation nor formerly clear-cut boundaries or the
Western idea of peaceful deliberation about citizens' rights can be taken for granted any longer. All over the world the rights of citizens have come under enormous pressure.
This is true in the face of an extreme asymmetry of power between organised economic interests and citizens that try to defend once achieved standards of living; it is also true given new political centres of decision-making that are beyond the control of citizens; it is true for newly emerging boundaries that are mobilised in order to re-define arrangements of inclusion and exclusion; finally, it is true for growing resistance among the citizenries and violent upheavals against both autocratic and declining democratic regimes such as France and Great Britain. Against this background The Transformation of Citizenship addresses the basic question of how we can make sense of citizenship in the twenty-first century.
These volumes make a strong plea for a reorientation of the sociology of citizenship and address serious threats of an ongoing erosion of citizenship rights. Arguing from different scientific perspectives, rather than offering new conceptions of citizenship as supposedly more adequate models of rights, membership and belonging, they deal with both the ways citizenship is transformed and the ways it operates in the face of fundamentally transformed conditions.