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.
is Professor of Sociology and Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. He was previously Professor of Sociology at the University of Liverpool, UK. His most recent books are Citizenship in a Global Age, Open University Press: 2000; Challenging Knowledge: The University in the Knowledge Society, Open University Press: 2001; Nationalism and Social Theory, Sage: 2002 (co-authored with Patrick O’Mahony); Community, Routledge: 2003; and Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implications of Europeanization, Routledge: 2005 (co-authored with Chris Rumsford). His main current research concerns cosmopolitanism theory with an application to issues of Europeanization and modernity in a comparative perspective.
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.
Citizenship as a learning process
Disciplinary citizenship versus cultural citizenship
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.