Key term definition: theory of citizenship (T.H. Marshall)

T.H. Marshall’s theory of citizenship is a classic liberal theory which considers citizenship as the legal status providing rights and duties to members of a nation-state. Marshall’s theory is based on his seminal essay “Citizenship and Social Class” (1950), which analysed the development of citizenship as a development of civil, then political, then social rights, broadly assigned to the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively. His concept of citizenship has created much dispute, especially because it is a restricted description of citizenship and because this definition does not take into account social inequalities.

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