Citizenship and Identity Crisis: A brief account of African Experience

Citizenship and Identity Crisis: A brief account of African Experience

Merkineh Mojira Moges1 and Nigatu Abebe2

1Assistant Professor of Federal Studies, College of Social Science and Humanities, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia. PO. Box 138. 2Assistant Professor of State and Citizenship.

International Journal of social research

The concept and practice of citizenship are usually associated with the relationship between individuals and the political community in which they reside. This statement can broadly be analyzed in terms of membership and identity. Furthermore different paradigms available on the intellectual discourse came up with their respective views pertinent the issue.
Towards A definition
As a matter of history definition of the term citizenship was closely associated with ancient city states of Greece. Accordingly citizens were defined as free individuals, (i.e.) men, who were involved in the public affairs of the city-state. A citizen was connected to the civic virtues of Athenian democracy, which was marked by the subordination of the private life to the dedication to public affairs and the common good. (Held, 1996).
The citizen was a “homo politicus” With the political and social hegemony of Christianity during the Middle Ages. This way of understanding citizenship eclipsed and was replaced by (“homo credens”) (Held, 1996).
A public political order or public life outside the religious order of Christianity was abandoned. The order of things was not connected to the public realm of republican commitment of the citizens, but to subordination to the will of God.
The republican virtues of citizenship gained a new foothold during the Renaissance in the Italian city-states. Still, it was the French revolution, starting in 1789, that provided the framework for thinking and practicing citizenship within the formation of modern nation states. Below there is a description of how the heritage of the French revolution is still with us today, and likewise the political and social processes that constitute significant challenges to this heritage. However, before doing so, it might be a good idea shortly to explore some features of the concept of citizenship from a more abstract and politically theoretical point of view.

Keywords: Citizenship and Identity Crisis, African Experience

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How to cite this article:
Merkineh Mojira Moges and Nigatu Abebe,.Citizenship and Identity Crisis: A brief account of African Experience. International Journal of Social Research, 2019; 3:29.


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