Delanty, G. (1996) 'Beyond the Nation-State: National Identity and Citizenship in a Multicultural Society - A Response to Rex', Sociological Research Online, vol. 1, no. 3, <>

Copyright Sociological Research Online, 1996


Beyond the Nation-State: National Identity and Citizenship in a Multicultural Society - A Response to Rex

by Gerard Delanty
Department of Sociology, University of Liverpool

Received: 17/7/96      Accepted: 11/9/96      Published: 2/10/96


The crisis of national identity in Western Europe is related to the rise of a new nationalism which operates at many different levels, ranging from extreme xenophobic forms to the more moderate forms of cultural nationalism. Underlying the new nationalism in general is more a hostility against immigrants than against other nations; it is motivated less by notions of cultural superiority than by the implications multiculturalism has for the welfare state, which is being attacked by neo- liberal agendas. As a cultural discourse, the new nationalism is a product of social fragmentation. Therefore the most important challenge facing the democratic multi- cultural state in the context of European integration is to find ways of preserving the link between social citizenship and multiculturalism. Without a firm basis in social citizenship, multiculturalism will suffer continued attacks from nationalism, feeding off social insecurity.

Nationalism; National Identity; Multiculturalism; Welfare State; Citizenship


The crisis of national identity as analyzed by Rex draws attention to important developments in patterns of identification in Europe and North America. He suggests that under the conditions of the post-Cold War era the nation-state is discarding its universalistic claims and has unleashed a nationalism of resistance to the new forces such as globalization and the spectre of increased immigration. Instead of trying to include immigrants, recent trends suggest that strategies of exclusion are preferred and that a new dichotomy of Self and Other is gaining ground: nationality is coming increasingly to be defined in opposition to immigrants. The tie between nationality and citizenship thus enters a crisis.

Citizenship implies membership of a polity while identity implies the recognition of common ties. But of course inclusion also necessarily entails a degree of exclusion, though this can range from positive recognition of the other to negative identification (Eisenstadt and Giesen, 1995; Gamson, 1995). It would appear from Rex's analysis that the element of exclusion is growing in the definition of citizenship which is becoming embedded in a politics of identity around a resurgent national identity. More fundamentally what is at stake is the possibility of a multicultural society based on a shared political culture of citizenship as opposed to one based on cultural traditions.

Comment: Rex

Rex's paper raises a very central issue: whether citizenship can be separated from nationality. In the context of debates on European integration this is a crucial issue since European societies have reached a point at which they must decide whether to embrace a multicultural society or opt for a Fortress Europe in which internal differences between the member states will be diluted in order to enhance the identity of the Union against encroachments from outside. In this paper I would like to develop this theme by introducing some critical perspectives on political culture which go beyond Rex's analysis. A critical perspective on political culture is important because there is a pervasive concern at the moment to see European cultural identity as an antidote to the new nationalism. As Rex correctly points out, this attempt to forge a supra-national identity is frequently conceived of in terms of a contrast with the extra-European world. The commonalities that are emphasized between Europeans are supposed to be religion and race. The danger, then, is that the dichotomy of self and other will be transferred from national culture onto the European stage in the articulation of a mega-European identity based on essentialistic and reifying concepts of identity.

The challenge, I would like to suggest, is to transfer the universalistic norms of the older national identity as expressed in the idea of modern citizenship from the nation-state to the new processes of European integration. In order to explore this further we need to appreciate more fully the ambiguous nature of national culture, which Rex alludes to in his essay, and the transformation of national identity in recent times. If we take the analysis a step further, we can see how the trends examined by Rex do not necessarily lead to the pessimistic scenario suggested by his conclusion. In brief, the new nationalism is a much exaggerated phenomenon and is, I wish to suggest, more a product of the decline of nationalism as a dominant frame of identification than a new and resurgent force. In fact the new nationalism is closely related to the decline of the nation-state as the dominant normative reference point for people today. The real danger for a multicultural society is not the new nationalism as such but the still resilient culture of the nation-state, which though clearly in decline is far from being in demise and is in fact giving rise to a new kind of nationalism, a diffuse cultural nationalism. Without trivializing the significance of the new nationalism in its extreme forms, then, a far more serious problem is the forging of a Fortress Europe built on a core set of western nation-states. We need to see more closely under what circumstances a genuinely post-national identity can be constructed. In order to answer this question we must see that modern citizenship not only reached its fullest expression in the social citizenship of the welfare state and that this emerged within the parameters of the nation-state, but that the welfare state was also the basis of multiculturalism. Under attack today is not only multiculturalism but also the social democratic welfare state. The crucial question, then, is whether a post-national social citizenship can offer an alternative to nationalist opposition to multiculturalism.

From the Old Nationalism to the New Nationalism

Let us first try to specify exactly what is new about the new nationalism and therefore what sets it off from the old nationalism. Taking up some of Rex's suggestions, the main difference can be said to consist of the fact that the new nationalism is primarily a nationalism of exclusion, while the old nationalism was one of inclusion (Hobsbawm, 1991, 1992a, 1992b; Salecl, 1993; Ignatieff, 1994; Judt, 1994). Nationalism no longer tries to include as much of the population as possible; instead it pursues strategies of exclusion. Thus the 'significant other' of the new nationalism is more likely to be immigrants than competing nation-states. It is more a matter of xenophobia than of jingoism (Heitmeyer, 1991). After unification, extreme nationalist movements in Germany as well as the National Front in France and Britain define national identity largely by reference to immigrants and not by reference to other European nationalities.

Nationalism today is more likely to be a product of the break-down in social communication than a functional product of nation-building. While the famous analyses of nationalism by writers such as Gellner, Anderson and Hobsbawn may be criticized on several grounds, there does appear to be widespread consensus that at some level nationalism has been closely related to the development of industrial society and the centralized state in the late-nineteenth century. The old nationalism was an ideology in the sense of being a comprehensive belief system, and was comparable to other ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism and socialism. The new nationalism, on the other hand, is more the product of the crisis of the nation-state and the collapse of the modernization project: nationalism conceived of as a movement is a product of the crisis of the national identity of the nation-state. As a totalizing ideology nationalism is certainly in crisis. This is perhaps one of the central differences between the old and the new nationalism.

If we distinguish between civic nationalism and ethno-cultural nationalism, whereby the former refers to membership of a political community and is primarily defined by reference to the state and the latter refers to membership of a cultural historical community, it is apparent that the great modernizing expressions of civic nationalism are today being over-shadowed by ethnic-cultural nationalism. The universalistic ideology of national citizenship - civic nationalism - was historically embodied in the nationalism of the United States and France as well as the state seeking nationalism of Mazzini in Italy which inspired republican revolutionary nationalist movements in other countries, such as Ireland. In Britain civic nationalism was largely represented by the Whig ideology of the absolute sovereignty of Westminster and was expressed in the idea of Britishness (as opposed to the more cultural idea of Englishness). What is in crisis today is this sense of nationalism. Nationalism no longer appeals to ideology but to identity. Thus the predominant form that national identity takes today is that of cultural nationalism, though it must be added that this late modern phenomenon is very much different from its romantic nineteenth-century form of ethno-historical nationalism: the cultural turn in discourses of nationalism is more related to the crisis of the welfare state and ideas of the historical community. One of the pervasive forms the new nationalism takes is what Billig (1995) calls 'banal nationalism', the nationalism which pervades everyday life. This of course does not mean that ideology has come to an end, but that it has fragmented into a politics of identity: ideology is being refracted through identity. Political conflict is articulated more in terms of cultural contestation than in terms of ideology.

Comment 1: RexComment 2: Rex

This new cultural nationalism differs from the older kinds of nationalism in that it is not about cultural superiority, but is about preserving differences. The colonial or social imperialist idea of nationality has been replaced by one that stressed the incompatibility of cultures and the inability of the welfare state to provide for all. The new nationalism is a nationalism of social insecurity and discontent. Existing along this new extreme nationalism is a more diffuse cultural nationalism which is focused on less obvious reference points and pervades everyday life. Frequently the extreme nationalism succeeds in getting tremendous background legitimization from the milder 'banal' nationalism of the majority. A subject worthy of research is the extent of the new nationalism in its cultural forms, for instance in tourism, in advertising, in educational programmes, in films, in the heritage industry.

Expressed in different terms we can say that there has been a decoupling of nation from state. The crisis of the nation-state today refers to the separation of the state from the nation. With the gradual freeing of the state from some of its traditional functions, social identities, and in particular national culture, can reassert themselves in a variety of ways (Balibar, 1991). The resurgence of nationalism can thus be seen in the context of the new processes of globalization which have uprooted the state and set free a whole series of identity politics. The state is no longer dependent on a national culture and frequently it has rejected certain core elements of the national culture. Thus a major dimension to the new nationalism is its opposition to the state. The rise of the militias in the United States are an extreme example of this new nationalism. The new nationalism is more likely to derive from 'below', in contrast to the old nationalism, which was primarily a nationalism from 'above' and emanated from the programmatic designs of elites. Unlike the secessionist nationalist movements of the twentieth century (of which Basque and Corsican nationalism are contemporary examples), nationalism in the developed West is primarily articulated against the state in the name of a cultural and social identity and is not, for the greater part, a state seeking nationalism. Even national identity in southern Ireland has taken a pronounced culturalist turn in recent times with the decline in irredentism, and in Northern Ireland there is much to suggest that traditional secessionist nationalism is in decline (Delanty 1995c, 1996d).

Comment: Rex

The global undermining of the state has resulted in the de-coupling of nation from state. With the decline in the autonomy of the state and the need for military economies, national culture can become more autonomous and in the case of marginalized or suppressed national minorities, the erosion of the state in the international context can provide new opportunity structures. In the post-Cold War scenario of multipolarism, the absence of a common enemy has allowed old ethnic conflicts to re-emerge, though the form that these now take frequently bares little resemblance to ethnic conflict in earlier times. If this analysis is correct, the thesis of the end of the nation-state can be interpreted in new light (Dunn, 1995). The state is far from being at an end and in many ways its autonomy has been enhanced by globalization (Milward, 1993). However, the idea of the nation-state is more problematical as the state can no longer be seen as the primary focus of national culture. The sovereignty of the nation-state has been eroded from above by new processes of globalization, from below by the resurgence of nationalism as well as the rise of new social movements.

The upshot of this is that the new nationalism is to be explained in terms of a focus on the internal problems of the nation-state. It is more likely to be articulated against immigrants than against other nations. In many cases it is expressed against marginal groups within the national territory, as in Italy where northern nationalism is principally focused on southern Italians. In Italy the state is itself seen as the enemy of society, in this case the product of a corrupt political order. It should also be borne in mind that throughout the western world, governments on the whole are wary of the new nationalism with its racist and fascist rhetoric. Even in cases when governments have attempted to promote a national patriotism from above it has frequently failed to resonate in the population. There is little to suggest that populations will be easily mobilized by extreme fascism. Thus, for instance, the much reported outbreaks of neo-fascist nationalism in Germany in 1991-2 (which received initially only a mild rebuke from Kohl's Christian Democrats) were followed by mass public demonstrations against neo-fascism, the result of which was a major undermining of national identity itself and a defence of multiculturalism.

Nationalism and Social Fragmentation

I have argued that the new nationalism is new to the extent that it is a nationalism that is unleashed against the state which is perceived to have abandoned the nation. Nationality then becomes a new battlefield in which social identities can compete with each other.

However, what is likely to be more contentious is how we interpret the significance of the new nationalism. Rex's analysis suggests that the new nationalism is on the rise and that increased immigration and moves towards greater European integration will exacerbate it further. This is not something I fundamentally dispute, but there is the danger of exaggerating the extent of the new nationalism and more seriously of failing to see that the new nationalism is more than a nationalism. It is, as Rex himself suggests, a movement of resistance. My contention is that the new nationalism while being ostensibly focused on immigrants and other marginal groups is not in fact primarily a nationalism as such. It is above all else a product of social fragmentation and the failure of democratization. The traditional concerns of nationalism - irredentism, the doctrine that the national community must have a state of its own, jingoism and cultural superiority, identification with the state - are not central to the new nationalism.

While it is now fashionable to criticize the European Union for its democratic deficit, it is conveniently ignored that the national governments themselves are far from democratic. Populism thrives on the inability of social demands to be realized in political programmes. The new nationalism is a populist movement that responds to deep social divisions and the failures of democracy to penetrate society. In terms of Marshall's model of social citizenship, the new nationalism can be explained as a response to the failure of civic and political citizenship to grow into a full social citizenship. Nationalism can be seen as a frustrated populism which mobilizes people against the state. German extreme nationalism as well as the milder nationalism of the majority in the early 1990s was primarily a 'welfare nationalism', inspired by a desire to maintain current living standards (Habermas, 1991). The sense of alienation and disappointment are very powerful motivating forces in the new nationalism, which cannot be explained by the 'return of history' thesis so much favoured by the media in recent times. If the old nationalism was a product of the spread of education among the middle classes; the new nationalism is a product of the failure of education and civic consciousness. The imagined enemies are not the enemies of state, but social classes and groups, and in particular immigrants.

On a different level, Scottish nationalism, for instance, is primarily a nationalism inspired by the failure of the Union of the two kingdoms to provide democratic institutions. Hence the slogan 'Independence in Europe'. While certainly drawing on a vague cultural sense of Scottishness, the SNP does not normally appeal to archaic cultural traditions but to opposition against Tory hegemony. The case of the Northern Leagues in Italy also illustrates the point that much of new nationalism is articulated in a populist desire for democratization, even if in the latter case it frequently takes a xenophobic form. Similarly in much of eastern and central Europe, and particularly so in the Russian Federation, the new nationalism is being embraced as a direct result of frustration with liberal reformism and the new social divisions that it has brought about.

I am suggesting, then, that the new nationalism is the result of a shift from state to society and expresses a sense of widespread alienation and frustration deriving from social exclusion and deep social divisions. This explains why it is immigrants and social groups within the nation-state rather than other nation states who are being signaled out by xenophobic movements. There is, in short, a widespread fear that the national model of the welfare state is unable to provide, for all groups, a sense of frustration that the state is unresponsive to social demands. The fragmentation of social citizenship thus provides the new nationalism with an orientation and a focus.

If this thesis is correct, Rex's suggestion that the crisis of national identity today is a response to the dual threats of globalization, such as European integration, and the increased flux of immigrants is unsatisfactory. I can see no evidence whatsoever that, say, the extreme nationalism of the French National Front is related to a fear of European integration. Indeed, the opposite may be the case, as is suggested by the European New Right who advocate a new racist European identity, and that something like a new European nationalism is emerging (Varenne, 1993). Le Pen himself does not articulate open hostility to other European nations and does not oppose European integration. He stands for the exclusion of immigrants from Europe and not just from France. A far more plausible interpretation is that the new nationalism is a product of social fragmentation resulting from the crisis, whether real or perceived, of the nation-state. Therefore whether or not there has been a real influx in the numbers of immigrants is immaterial. The construction of the threat is sufficient for many people to turn to parties and movements advocating the restriction of the welfare state. However, it is unlikely that the construction alone would be sufficient to inspire the new nationalism. Therefore I am suggesting that we look more in terms of the failure of social citizenship to explain the new nationalism and see the threat of immigrants as largely a media and security construction. One of the characteristics of contemporary society is that the crisis of the welfare state, as a result of neo-liberal agendas which are also being encouraged by European integration, is occurring at a time of world wide immigration flows. The new nationalism, then, I am claiming, may be more a response to the crisis of the welfare state which is perceived to be unable to provide for all (Kitschelt, 1996). The greatest challenge to multiculturalism may, then, be the neo-liberal attack on the welfare state.

The Construction of European Identity

In many senses culture has become a new battlefield and has replaced ideology as the principal faultline of political culture. The new nationalism is one indicator of this trend towards a new politics of cultural contestation. Another manifestation of the contemporary concern with the cultural as a focus for politics is the construction of European identity. What is particularly noteworthy about the formation of European identity is the search for a distinctively European cultural identity. A model of culture is emerging on the supra-national level which, on the one level, transcends the divisions of European history, but on the other appeals to a reified concept of culture. At a time when national culture is under attack from all sides - from 'bottom-up' nationalism, from New Social Movements, from feminism, from the social sciences - an essentialistic model of European culture is being promoted to provide a point of normative integration above the level of national culture.

It is interesting to note that at a time when national culture is under severe duress, the promoters of Europe are codifying a model of cultural identity which has been rendered a source of deep conflict on the level of the nation-state on the supra-national level. The attempt to forge a unified and homogeneous model of European identity can succeed only by recourse to the heritage of Christendom and its modern secular constructs such as race. Consequently we find Europe being defined largely in terms of its cultural heritage, the spiritual discourse of culture from Athens to Maastricht. European identity is thus more defined in terms of culture than on citizenship. This is because citizenship is still seen entirely in terms of national citizenship. European citizenship, to the extent to which it is meaningful at all to speak of the concept, is simply derivative of national citizenship, for to be a European citizen one must first of all be a citizen of a member state of the European Union (Brubaker, 1989). European citizenship does not then ultimately offer an alternative to national citizenship and European identity as it is currently being codified is simply a cultural reification.

It is indeed possible that the obsession with defining the identity of Europe in purely cultural terms - the Christian bourgeois Enlightenment heritage - is a post-Cold War construct and that it is primarily directed against Islam as post-communist bogey. Thus the cultural obsession with uncovering an Origin is coupled with a focus on the Other as a means of defining European identity (Delanty, 1995a, 1995b, 1996a, 1996b, 1996c).

Against these developments I would like to argue for a stronger sense of culture as a domain of contestation in which new debates on citizenship can take place. European integration, as Touraine (1994, 1995) argues, can open up new possibilities for democratic politics in which a form of citizenship commensurate with the demands of a multicultural society can be institutionalized. A crucial dimension to this will be the task of taking over the universalistic components of citizenship, which today exist only on the level of national citizenship, and realizing them on the supra-national level. But this will depend to a large extent on whether post-national forms of identification already exist among the population at large.

What evidence do we have that something like a genuinely post-national identity is emerging today? Against the thesis of the new nationalism as a threat to a post-national normative order, I believe that the contemporary context is far from pessimistic. A xenophobic nationalism may indeed be on the increase in the Western world, but I think it cannot be denied, as Rex as indicated, that this is a defensive movement, a response to the fragmentation of the social and is not itself a signal of a new fascist order or a descent into a postmodernized mediavalism as many commentators have suggested. It is important to appreciate that national identity is far more likely to be a contested idea today than one that can be worn lightly. We have only to consider the embarrassment that Unionist proclamations in Northern Ireland of Britishness and loyalty to the crown cause to the majority of British people, the decline of the monarchy as a national icon, the implications of EU integration for the myth of the absolute sovereignty of Westminster.

Contemporary cultural production facilitates the formation of multiple identities. It is far easier today to have multiply identities than in former times when, as Rex argues, national identity was a substitute for class consciousness. Growing numbers of people today have dual or even multiple loyalties. Today things are more complicated. Neither nation nor race is a substitute for class, for these 'grand narratives' have themselves fragmented in the decomposition of culture that is the hall mark of the present. Therefore the new manifestations of nationalism are far more likely to take diffuse and subtle forms, as Billig argues. However, not all of its forms are exclusionary. Examples of this can be found in Britain in the rhetoric of New Labour (which seeks to reconstruct the democratic project) or the media response to the Dunblane massacre (which mixed images of evil, pollution and risk with national identity). It would appear that Extreme Tory Europhobia during the BSE crisis and tabloid Germanophobia during the European Championships do not find a resonance in the public. This, one again, supports the thesis that ideology is today being refracted through identity in the articulation of a new cultural politics in which the adversarial poles are less apparent.

It is crucial to grasp that the new politics of nationalism is a politics of cultural contestation articulated around social issues. If we see the matter in this light we can recognise that the issues to which the new nationalism is a response can be claimed by democratic politics of citizenship. In other words, in the present context of debates on European integration, Europe is a new cultural space which can be competed for by several cultural forces. In defence of Europe, my argument is that it is important that a politics of multicultural citizenship claims the space that has been opened by European integration before the new nationalism gains further ground.

It is difficult to image what this might concretely entail, but it clear that it will involve a challenge to the idea of national citizenship. Up until now citizenship has been primarily defined by birth, and in some case by blood or ethnic descent as in Germany. The kind of citizenship commensurate with the needs of a multicultural European society will have to be addressed to the question of residence as a qualification. Only by shifting the focus to residence will it be possible to move beyond national citizenship.

Moreover, a European citizenship as a genuinely new kind of citizenship, cannot merely be derivative of an already existing national citizenship. It will have to enfranchise immigrants who frequently do not have any citizenship rights. European citizenship, as a supplementary citizenship, can thus compensate for the short-comings of national citizenship and embrace the universalistic norms of European nationality in a new form. Thus citizenship must come to be seen a multilayered, European citizenship supplementing national citizenship.

We have little choice but to recognize that what Rex calls the shared public political culture of the public domain can only survive if it is consolidated on a supra-national basis. Perhaps something like a post-national identity might be a suitable model for European identity in the twenty-first century. It is difficult to image the concrete form that this might take, but I would like to suggest that Habermas's (1992, 1991) notion of 'constitutional patriotism' might be a suitable definition. Developed in the context of post-War West German political culture, the idea of 'constitutional patriotism' refers to a kind of 'post-nationalism' whose normative reference point is the democratic constitution rather than culture, the state, territory or a dominant ethic tradition. According to Habermas, this is the only kind of national identity compatible with the requirements of a multicultural society, a position which Rex appears to support1 2. Given the conditions of cultural pluralism in a Europe as a whole, this idea is of importance to Europe and may become a model for European identity. Appeals to the cultural heritage of Europe, to a geographical territory, to language, to a dominant ethnic group can only be divisive, demarcating Europeans from each other as well as setting them off from the extra-European world. The task of creating a European constitution and citizenship could be a means of articulating a European identity built on the recognition of diversity. Such an identity, Habermas argues (1994, p. 139), 'is founded on the constitutional principles anchored in the political culture and not on the basic ethical orientations of the cultural form of life predominant in that country'. Therefore immigrants are not expected to give up their cultural traditions but are required to accept the minimal political culture of citizenship.

It is important to point out that European identity as a real concrete identity is, like all identity formation today, part of a process of multi-identification. Identification is not confined to just one set of value orientations but is diffuse and open ended. One can be simultaneously a European, a member of a particular nation-state, an ethnic community, a class and social movement (Therborn, 1995). Identities today are not exclusionary but can be chosen. European identity is not then in opposition to national identity. Thus one of the most important challenges for European identity will be whether it can be defined in a way that will allow Europeans to live without a common enemy and to provide democratic identification for a post national Europe. Democratic federalism will be an important task in this goal, but it alone will not solve the problem of multicultural since this cannot be spatially resolved. It is only when identities become reflexive that multicultural can be consolidated at least on the level of political culture.

In order to see how this might work, it is important to appreciate, as Rex points out, that we are not witnessing a confrontation between the modern nation-state and traditional ethic communities. What we are in fact witnessing is a conflict between the state and immigrant communities whose identities are negotiable and in the majority of cases are compatible with a multicultural order. This is an important point and is compatible with Habermas's argument that democratic identification with constitutional norms is the only possible form of national identity today. In his view the 'accelerated rate of change in modern society explodes all stationary forms of life. Cultures survive only if they draw the strength to transform themselves from criticism and secession' (Habermas, 1994, p. 132). In fact we are talking about citizenship as a form of identification, the shared political culture of the public domain which Rex argues is in crisis today. Immigrants mostly do not come with non-negotiable cultural traditions, for it is the nature of culture to be porous and redefinable. As Rex points out, the cultural traditions of the immigrants have their own internal modernizing elements and frequently these communities are internally divided. There is, then, in short, no homogeneous culture, be it on the level of the nation-state or on the level of the immigrant communities. This is really the crucial point and underpins the need for the articulation of a supra-national identity - a post-national identity or a European identity - that recognizes the reality of diversity. The fact is that national culture today is not a fixed and homogeneous set of beliefs, ideologies, and traditions but is a rapidly changing and open-ended framework of cultural choices and cannot be separated from other cultural developments. There is then little evidence to suggest that people in general - the populations of the Europe and North America and in-coming immigrant populations - have identities that are not negotiable.


The principal conclusion I wish to draw from this discussion is that while there may indeed be a resurgence of nationalism in recent times, that phenomenon can be explained only in terms of a crisis of social integration and the breaking-free of national culture from the state. The new nationalism is the product of social fragmentation and is fundamentally different from the nationalism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Identity formation today is very different than before. Cultural production, which primarily occurs through the mass media, has created situations in which multi-identification is possible and has greatly speeded-up processes of cultural transformation. We should therefore interpret the new nationalism in a more differentiated manner. It is not so much a reaction to immigrants and processes of globalization as such, as a product of social upheaval. The threat of immigrants is largely a media construction. There have in fact been higher influxes of immigrants in earlier times, but what is significant today is that the construction of the immigrant coincides with the crisis of the welfare state. It is therefore important that the European Union devise policies designed to capture the sense of discontent with social citizenship in order to win the ground from nationalism and, on the other side, that policies be designed to enfranchise immigrants. There is then a need for a deepening of social citizenship and a need to transcend the nation-state in the creation of a European citizenship. Only in this way can citizenship retain a link with multiculturalism.


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