Rights and obligations are confusing. When people really want or need something they call it a right. Can they simply attach this word to anything they want? Can people disregard obligations with impunity? This book argues that they can not. Rights and obligations are systematically related in important ways backed by the state. One must understand those relationships in specific ways to know what can or cannot be done with rights and obligations in public discourse and politics. They must create a web of interaction among citizens so that more long term social investments may be made.
"Aiming for nothing less than a synthesis of political philosophy, behaviorist models of social exchange, and state-centered developmental analysis, Janoski proposes an ambitious, wide-ranging but emphatically empirical theory of citizenship. Exhibiting a stunning mastery of scholarly literature, Citizenship and Civil Society critically evaluates and often surpasses recent work. Enormously learned and boldly steeped in the political and civic exigencies of our day, Janoski has set forth a series of hypotheses that must frame the forthcoming research agendas for all serious students of citizenship." Margaret R. Somers, University of Michigan Professor Janoski has here made a substantial contribution indeed to both citizenship theory and comparative political economy. Two fields of major social science advance in recent years, they are rarely brought together. Combining them across a considerable historical sweep and a wide range of societies, Janoski has produced a work rich in original analysis and insight." - Colin Crouch, University of Oxford and European University Institute, Florence "Citizenship and Civil Society is the most comprehensive and integrative examination of issues surrounding citizens' rights and obligations since T. H. Marshall's seminal work on the historical progression of rights. Focusing on the advanced industrial democracies, Janoski surveys legal, political, social, and participation rights in countries with different political traditions and institutions. He documents the strong link between divergent conceptions of citizenship and different ways of organizing welfare states." Charles C. Ragin, Northwestern University "A bold and comprehensive theory which maps out the complex historical relationship between rights and obligations, Citizenship and Civil Society analyzes the key issues confronting the modern polity." Bryan Turner, Deakin University "...[Janoski's] ambitious attempt to fuse social, legal, and political thought will challenge people to think about the nature and scope of citizenship rights." David Fagelson, Political Science Quarterly "There is much more of value in this book than can be outlined here. in particular, the discussion of limited and generalized exchange is excellent, as is the treament of the historical development of citizenship. This book is a valuable addition to the growing library of sociological accounts of citizenship." J.M. Barbalet, American Journal of Sociology