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Dynamics of anomaly and assertion: enacting European citizenship

Michael Saward

When European citizenship is 'communicated', who is communicating, how, and to what effect? This paper illustrates key ways in which citizens themselves, along with core EU and member state institutions, are enacting European citizenship. Despite its low profile, the legal status of European citizenship is subject to a dynamic set of rulings, debates and actions. Drawing on research from the EU Framework 7 funded ENACT programme, this paper will show how a fresh perspective built around the notion of acts of citizenship can cast new light on the legal, political and social construction of European citizenship. Cases studied include European Court of Justice rulings, acts of member states on deprivation of citizenship, and bottom-up pressures from more marginal groups such as mobile citizens (e.g. the Roma) and the 'non-citizens' of Latvia. The paper develops an original framework centred on the notion that a dynamic of anomaly, on the one hand, and a dynamic of assertion, on the other, are both crucial and - surprisingly, perhaps - mutually dependent in shaping European citizenship. This framework is intended to be a useful theoretical and practical tool for all those seeking to understand the present and potential future trajectory of European citizenship.

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