Gerard Delanty

Gerard Delanty is one of Europe’s leading figures in the field of sociology whose work encompasses a variety of theoretical themes and subjects. The first of his numerous books, Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality (1995) was a significant, timely and challenging contribution to the European discourse. Almantas Samalavicius asks Delanty to revisit the ideas set forward in this thought-provoking, polemical work.

In the dominant liberal discourse on citizenship, learning processes have tended to be reduced to citizenship classes and formal membership of the polity. In an article first published in 2003, Gerard Delanty contrasts this type of “disciplinary citizenship” with a notion of “cultural citizenship”. Delanty develops the notion of cultural citizenship in terms of learning processes at both the individual and collective levels; such processes, rather than merely demanding cognitive competence, have a developmental and transformative impact on the learning subject.

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Europe is taking not just a post-national form, but also a post-western shape, argues Gerard Delanty. He offers a new assessment of the periphery, which can be seen as a zone of re-bordering. In the periphery, he writes, the relation between the inside and the outside is complex and ambivalent; while often taking exclusionary forms, the periphery can also be viewed as the site of cosmopolitan forms of negotiation.