Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights  book cover
1st Edition

Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights

ISBN 9780367185619
Published December 2, 2019 by Routledge
268 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights the combined analytical efforts of the fields of human rights law, conflict studies, anthropology, history, media studies, gender studies, and critical race and postcolonial studies raise a comprehensive understanding of the discursive and visual mediation of migration and manifestations of belonging and citizenship.

More insight into the convergence – but also the tensions – between the cultural and the legal foundations of citizenship, has proven to be vital to the understanding of societies past and present, especially to assess processes of inclusion and exclusion. Citizenship is more than a collection of rights and privileges held by the individual members of a state but involves cultural and historical interpretations, legal contestation and regulation, as well as an active engagement with national, regional, and local state and other institutions about the boundaries of those (implicitly gendered and raced) rights and privileges.

Highlighting and assessing the transformations of what citizenship entails today is crucially important to the future of Europe, which both as an idea and as a practical project faces challenges that range from the crisis of legitimacy to the problems posed by mass migration. Many of the issues addressed in this book, however, also play out in other parts of the world, as several of the chapters reflect.

This book is available for free in PDF format as Open Access from the individual product page at They have been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents


Rosemarie Buikema, Antoine Buyse, Antonius C.G.M. Robben

Part I - Mediation

Chapter 1: Persistent Looking in the Space of Appearance #BlackLivesMatter

Nicholas Mirzoeff

Chapter 2: Community Media Makers and the Mediation of Difference: Claiming Citizenship and Belongingness

Lola de Koning, Elaine Nolten, Koen Leurs

Chapter 3: "On this Path to Europe" - The Symbolic role of the ‘Balkan Corridor’ in the European Migration Debate

Milica Trakilovic

Chapter 4: Recycling the Christian Past. The Heritagization of Christianity and National Identity in the Netherlands

Birgit Meyer

Part II - Sovereignty

Chapter 5: Love and Sovereignty: An Exploration of the Struggle for New Beginnings

Gregory Feldman

Chapter 6: Postsecular Pacification: Pentecostalism and Military Urbanism in Rio de Janeiro

Martijn Oosterbaan, Carly Machado

Chapter 7: Cities of Refuge: Rights, Culture and the Creation of Cosmopolitan Cityzenship

Barbara Oomen

Chapter 8: Deepening and Widening of the Protection of Fundamental Rights of European Citizens vis-à-vis Non-State, Private Actors

Hanneke van Eijken, Sybe de Vries

Part III - Contestation

Chapter 9: Looking back, looking forward: Citizenship, Contestation and a New Compact for Child and Youth Mobility?

Jacqueline Bhabha

Chapter 10: In Search of New Narratives: The Role of Cultural Norms and Actors in Addressing Human Rights Contestation

Julie Fraser

Chapter 11: Contested Cultural Citizenship of a Virtual Transnational Community: Structural Impediments for Women to Participate in the Republic of Letters (1400-1800)

Dirk van Miert

Chapter 12: The Art of Dissent: Ai Weiwei, Rebel with a Cause

Sandra Ponzanesi

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Rosemarie Buikema is professor of Art, Culture and Diversity at Utrecht University and Chair of its Graduate Gender Programme.

Antoine Buyse is Professor of Human Rights in a Multidisciplinary Perspective and Director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at Utrecht University.

Antonius C.G.M. Robben is Professor of Anthropology at Utrecht University.


"As nation states struggle with patterns of mass migration, what roles can cities, regions, and private actors play to recognize and support the humanity of those displaced by difficult circumstances? How do patterns of communications—from letter writing centuries ago to Twitter and pod-casting—influence and reflect and shape communities of culture and empowerment especially for those marginalized by their societies? When some religions decline and others rise, what does and should happen to local buildings, communications, and cultural symbols? How can conscience find expression in global markets in art and celebrity? What notions and practices of sovereignty, human rights, and citizenship hold generative meaning during this challenging century? The essays collected here reflect years of cooperative research and explore these and related and timely issues through the eyes of imaginative and passionate scholars from across the globe."

Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University; Co-editor, Engaging Cultural Differences.