Research Topic

Citizenship and Democratization: Perspectives from Different Gender-Theoretical Approaches

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The year 1918 was significant in many ways, seeing the end of World War 1. At the same time, the impact and transformational effects of this event enabled civil society activists and politically institutionalised actors in European countries to pick up the threads of democratic social movements and parliamentary aspirations, and make use of “political opportunity structures” to obtain citizen rights for larger parts of the population. One result of this process – albeit with a difference between European states – was that more groups in society gained suffrage. Amongst those were large sections of the working class and women. While the vote was won for some new social groups in European societies, others were still excluded. After one centennium of struggle for political participation, we would like to discuss specific problems of politics of belonging. The question concerning the full recognition of citizen rights was and continually is connected to ideas of a specific membership of a nation state, a fact that denotes the particular problem of membership and non-membership and of inside and outside. This Research Topic will take account of this special field of tension of democratisation – e.g. inclusion through exclusion – from a perspective of social history, political science, gender studies and intersectionality approaches. This analytical foil shall be used to examine the relationship between state or government action and civil society, as well as the reproduction of social and political inequality despite increasing democratisation movements.

We are asking for theoretical and theory-based empirical contributions and welcome those from a feminist, gender, intersectional, postcolonial, queer and other perspectives which focus on the following areas:
1. Forerunners of the ideas of citizenship and democratization;
2. Relationship between ‘nation’, citizen rights, and ‘belonging’ or ‘othering’ in democratization processes;
3. Intersections of race, class, gender, and their impact on the imagination of citizenship;
4. Citizenship and democracy;
5. Power and power relations;
6. The current relationship between state and civil society.


Keywords: Democratization, Intersectionality, Race, Class, Gender, Classical Feminist Theory, Feminist movements


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The year 1918 was significant in many ways, seeing the end of World War 1. At the same time, the impact and transformational effects of this event enabled civil society activists and politically institutionalised actors in European countries to pick up the threads of democratic social movements and parliamentary aspirations, and make use of “political opportunity structures” to obtain citizen rights for larger parts of the population. One result of this process – albeit with a difference between European states – was that more groups in society gained suffrage. Amongst those were large sections of the working class and women. While the vote was won for some new social groups in European societies, others were still excluded. After one centennium of struggle for political participation, we would like to discuss specific problems of politics of belonging. The question concerning the full recognition of citizen rights was and continually is connected to ideas of a specific membership of a nation state, a fact that denotes the particular problem of membership and non-membership and of inside and outside. This Research Topic will take account of this special field of tension of democratisation – e.g. inclusion through exclusion – from a perspective of social history, political science, gender studies and intersectionality approaches. This analytical foil shall be used to examine the relationship between state or government action and civil society, as well as the reproduction of social and political inequality despite increasing democratisation movements.

We are asking for theoretical and theory-based empirical contributions and welcome those from a feminist, gender, intersectional, postcolonial, queer and other perspectives which focus on the following areas:
1. Forerunners of the ideas of citizenship and democratization;
2. Relationship between ‘nation’, citizen rights, and ‘belonging’ or ‘othering’ in democratization processes;
3. Intersections of race, class, gender, and their impact on the imagination of citizenship;
4. Citizenship and democracy;
5. Power and power relations;
6. The current relationship between state and civil society.


Keywords: Democratization, Intersectionality, Race, Class, Gender, Classical Feminist Theory, Feminist movements


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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