Skip to main content

citizenship

Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century

Citizenship is not inherently political, and yet it is impossible to escape its politicization. In this century, citizenship—the status, the idea, the very word itself—has been politicized to extremes, commodified and weaponized in unprecedented ways. It has become a third rail of conversations and campaigns. And to the degree that it is wrapped up with notions of patriotism, it is often used as a litmus test for legitimacy. All of which is to say that citizenship—its privileges, its responsibilities, even its attainability—is a topic whose complexities can disappear against a vitriolic backdrop.

National Interests [private]

On July 30, 2020, we invited Anuradha Bhagwati, Jamelle Bouie, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Jason Stanley to discuss our current state of affairs and a few of the larger political themes that animate them.

<i>What is Democracy?</i>. Directed by Astra Taylor. Zeitgeist Films, 2018. 108 minutes.

How Free Is Too Free?

After a fallow period of about fifteen years, in 2014 I returned to driving. Having let my license expire out of pure indolence, I embarked on a process that ended with a road test in deepest Brooklyn. I had no car and no plans to buy one, but within a couple years I was doing more driving than anyone I knew. A needy dog five pounds too big to fly and a sick parent five hundred miles away sent me again and again to the closest rental depot, where I would be handed keys to a compact car of limited but occasionally stark variation. For the same price, I might settle into a vehicle loaded with sixty-seven computers and a heated steering wheel, or a shitbox with no USB port and a tire set to blow on a major Ontario highway. I would study the rental agent’s face as she clacked in the relevant data, looking for some sign of my fate.