Active citizenship through mobility? Young and educated citizens’ perceptions of identity, rights and participation in the European Union

Nora Siklodi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis starts with the proposition that EU (learning) mobility makes the realisation of European Union (EU) citizenship most likely. More specifically, it conceptualises EU citizenship as a dynamic bond between the EU and its citizens, with an important role in community building processes, including processes of differentiation (between EU citizens) and exclusion (of non-citizens). EU citizenship is then observed as a multidimensional construct, made up of EU identity, EU rights and EU participation. These propositions are tested using original focus group evidence of young and educated EU citizens in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The findings of the thesis provide a more nuanced understanding of EU citizenship: it is activated by citizens’ mobility rather than by political participation, as is the case with national citizenship. However, its dependence on mobility makes EU citizenship irrelevant for stayers (the majority of the EU’s population) and results in a brief and temporary experience for EU mobiles.

Overall, the thesis emphasises the benefits of attending to the dimensions of EU citizenship concurrently and acknowledging the mobile/stayer distinctions. It provides original insight into the genuine significance of EU citizenship for mobiles and stayers, and sheds new light on the role of EU citizenship in the quest for further political integration.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy
  • Sloam, James, Supervisor
  • Allen, Nicholas, Advisor
Award date1 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • European Union

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