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Title: The adaptive value of citizenship : a genealogy of belonging
Author: Edwards, Mark Anthony
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Current conceptualisations of citizenship reflect a dominant political model of belonging that has proved enduring but increasingly contentious. Challenges to the dominant model from standpoints such as gender, social exclusion and human rights, reflect struggles for recognition and inclusion that amount to demands for a kind of belonging more human than political. This thesis explores the usefulness of considering citizenship from an adaptionist perspective. That is to say, according to the Darwinian rubric of evolution through natural selection in which the artificer of perpetuating states of affairs is adaptive value: pragmatically. the extent to which novel traits prove successful adaptations in prevailing environment s. An adaptionist perspective incorporates the generic extension of Darwin's biological selection rubric captured in the concept of Universal Darwinism, in which the rationale of selection is used to account for cultural and social evolution too. Additionally, the thesis here further extends the Darwinian rubric to consider in more detail the concept of interaction. As a consequence, novel conceptions of citizenship are developed. Citizenship and society are re-conceived as a singular process of multilevel interaction according to a fundamental interaction rubric. The elementary forms of citizenship are revealed and captured in the notion of interaction between organism and environment, and societies seen to be constituted in the pluralism of sites and domains where such interactions take place. An analysis in terms of selection and interaction reveals a dualism of human sociality in terms of endogenous and exogenous social connections: those derived of innate dispositions to assimilate with certain others; and those derived of imposed normative prescriptions for belonging in socio-political terms. As a consequence, the thesis makes the claim for two kinds of citizenship bound up with two kinds of society: the political and the human. Emergent from the analysis is a case for the primacy of humanness over political ideology. An adaptionist perspective is found to offer a productive and useful framework of analysis in the context of citizenship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available