Auvachez, Elise. (2007) Supranational citizenship-building and the UN: What can we learn from the European experience? In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction] The word “supranational citizenship” or “UN citizenship” is not yet part of the United Nations’ usual vocabulary. The use of the “citizenship” concept in UN discourse is quasi-exclusively limited to the national context, a definition of citizenship bounded by state borders (Delcourt, 2006: 187). Must we therefore conclude that the UN is not “making citizenship” at all? Given that the notions of “supranational” or “UN citizenship” are absent from the United Nations’ official discourse, the answer seems obviously to be YES. Yet, consideration of the European experience demonstrates that this response may be too hasty. The example of the EU, and some work on European citizenship, suggest another answer to this question. The aim of the present paper is to show that, just as the European Union was making citizenship well before the Maastricht Treaty mentioned European citizenship, the United Nations system is a supranational framework that is beginning to engage a process of citizenisation. Based on a large and dynamic conception of citizenship, defined as a double relation - between citizens and between citizens and a political entity - characterized by rights, access to institutions and belonging to a community (Jenson and Phillips, 1996; Wiener 1998; Bellamy, 2005; Auvachez, 2006), this paper proceeds in two steps. First, it demonstrates how the European experience provides a significant precedent to deal with the issue of citizenisation in a supranational context, both empirically and theoretically. Then, it sheds light on the emergence of elements of a UN citizenship regime often neglected by mainstream theories of supranational citizenship.
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