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The Case for European Citizenship? Transnational Market Citizens in the European Union

Nora Siklodi

This paper explores a market-based approach to understanding European Union (EU) citizenship anddemonstrates how migration within an integrated regional market affects migrants’ citizenship practices andbehaviours. It is often argued that the dynamics of globalisation have subordinated the state and politics at thetransnational level to economic considerations and regional markets (Mittelman, 2000; Talani, 2010). It has evenbeen suggested that the same dynamics have created a model, which is largely economic in nature (Everson,1995). This paper uses the concept of ‘market citizenship’ to shed light on EU citizenship, the only example ofregional citizenship in the world today. The extent literature on EU citizenship (Bellamy, 2008; 2011) tends todescribe this status as merely ‘pie in the sky’ (D’Oliveira, 1995). Yet, survey data suggest that the status of EUcitizenship has substantial meaning for a sizeable minority of the EU’s population (Eurobarometer, 2010).The paper sheds both conceptual and empirical light on transnational market citizenship in the EU. It firstexamines the multi-level aspects of EU citizenshipquot;embracing both transnational and nationallevelsquot;and how this interacts with personal experiences and other factors (e.g. gender, education, age, etc.)(Yuval-Davis, 2010). For the analysis of national citizenship, the paper employs Bellamy’s (2008) definition andEU citizenship is defined as a composite of various elements, including mobility, tolerance, new forms of politicalaction and cognitive sophistication (Ingelhart, 1970). The paper then explores the actual experiences of young(aged 18-35) migrant EU citizens, the group for whom market citizenship is likely to have the most meaning,through an analysis of focus-group material collected in Sweden and Britain and quantitative evidence fromEU-wide surveys (Eurobarometer and European Social Survey).



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