Informations and abstract
Keywords: Citizenship; Democracy; Legal Rights; EU.
The three sections of this paper trace many distinctions. The first section distinguishes three different ways of understanding the very concept of citizenship: a social understanding, in terms of integration; a political understanding, in terms of democracy; a legal understanding, in terms of legal rights. The second section distinguishes three main reasons for the current abuse of «citizenship»: first the confusion of the three conceptions analyzed in the first section; second, the confusion between citizenship as a means and citizenship as an end; third, the necessary subrogation of the second citizenship by the first. Lastly, the third section distinguishes three possible extensions of the legal conception of citizenship: a minimal, already overcome by the evolution of law; an intermediate, which in European Union's law includes almost equality, freedom of movement and residence, and the right to work; a maximal one as cosmopolitan citizenship. The former, however, either masks other concepts, as solidarity between strangers, universal brotherhood, human dignity and so forth, or unfortunately coincides with the dissolution of the very concept of citizenship.