1st Edition

Narratives and Imaginings of Citizenship in Latin America

Edited By Cristina Rojas, Judy Metzler Copyright 2014

    This book looks at how citizenship has been imagined and transformed in Latin America through the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries from different disciplinary perspectives including anthropology, history, urban planning, geography and political studies. It looks beyond citizenship as a formal legal status to explore how ideas about citizenship have shaped political and historical landscapes in different ways through the region. It shows how conceptions of citizenship are intertwined with understandings of natural spaces and environments, how indigenous politics are ‘de-colonizing’ western liberal conceptions of citizenship, and how citizenship is being transformed through local level politics and projects for development. In addition to showcasing some of the novel, emerging forms of citizenship in the region, the book also traces the ways in which historical narratives of citizenship and national belonging persist within present day politics. Collectively, the chapters show that citizenship remains an important entry point for understanding politics, projects of reform, and struggles for transformation in Latin America.

    This book was published as a special issue of Citizenship Studies.

    1. Introduction: Narratives and imaginaries of citizenship in Latin America Judy Meltzer and Cristina Rojas

    2. Legal narratives of citizenship, the social question, and public order in Colombia, 1915 – 1930 and after Catherine C. LeGrand

    3. Nationalism and immigrant labor in a tropical enclave: the West Indians of Colón City, 1850 –1936 Marixa Lasso

    4. Locating nature’s citizens: Latin American ecologies of political space Alex Latta

    5. Acts of indigenship: historical struggles for equality and colonial difference in Bolivia Cristina Rojas

    6. Decolonizing citizenship: reflections on the coloniality of power in Argentina Lucy Taylor

    7. Managing the citizen: privatized public works and the bureaucratic management of citizenship in post-authoritarian Chile, 1990 – 2005 Enrique R. Silva

    8. Narratives of citizenship in Medellín, Colombia Daniel Tubb

    9. ‘Good citizenship’ and the promotion of personal savings accounts in Peru Judy Meltzer


    Cristina Rojas is professor of Political Science at Carleton University. Her research focuses on decolonizing global governance and emancipatory practices of citizenship. Her recent articles are published in Citizenship Studies, Globalizations, and Bulletin of Latin American Research. She is the author of Civilization and Violence: Regimes of Representation in 19th C. Colombia (2002).

    Judy Meltzer holds a doctorate in Political Science from Carleton University. Her research focuses on citizenship and development. Recent publications appear in the Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship (2014 forthcoming), Environment & Citizenship in Latin America (2012). She is co-editor of a Special Issue of Citizenship Studies (2013).