1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography


  1. Member of a state, considered a point of view of its duties and its civil and political rights. From: The Concise Oxford Dictionary 2011
  2. Generally, a citizen is a person under the authority and protection of a state and then enjoy political rights and duties towards the state. Each citizen has his way citizenship as established by the laws and integrated across the mores of society to which he belongs. From: Wikipedia

A citizen is a person who has a substantial connection with the state – the citizen-rights and privileges and withdrew from this link. Citizenship is granted by the state by means specific to it. Be a citizen has different impact on the national and international one. For example, citizens of all countries are entitled to consular protection. When they are arrested in a foreign country, the authorities of the latter must notify them that they are entitled to it (internationally), but the obligations of the state against its citizens arising from this consular protection depending each state (national).


(n) a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection

(n) an inhabitant of a city of town, especially one entitled to its privileges or franchises.


(a.) Having the condition or qualities of a citizen, or of citizens; as, a citizen soldiery.

(n.) A person, native or naturalized, of either sex, who owes allegiance to a government, and is entitled to reciprocal protection from it.


Examples and/or Illustrations

Citizenship is granted by the state. The citizen then the nationality of the country. The details of allocation are set by states, as in art 5 of the Canadian Citizenship Act.

“There are two kinds of citizens, migrants and naturalized. Natives are those born citizens. Naturalized citizens, are those to whom the company granted participation in its rights and franchises, although not born in its bosom. “This sentence from article: citizen of the Encyclopedia of Diderot and ‘Alembert illustrates the two modes of acquiring citizenship: by birth (jus soli or jus sanguinis) and naturalization.

The citizen has rights and duties more important than a stranger in a country. The best example of this is the right to vote. While citizens are still allowed to vote (subject to the conditions set by the state: age, sex …), foreigners are rarely right in municipal elections and parliamentary elections ever. Article Canadian citizenship and legal effects of S. Slosar shows how citizenship is illustrated in the facts on a national and international level.

Every year about 170,000 people become new citizens of Canada (CIC 2012).

“A Canadian citizen is a person who is Canadian by birth or who has applied for Canadian citizenship through Citizenship and Immigration Canada and has received a citizenship certificate” (Munroe).


Other Useful Sources

Bauböck, Rainer (2005) “Changing Meanings and Practices of Citizenship” Political Science and Politics, Vol 28, No. 4, pp. 667-669

Bloemraad, Irene. (2006) “Becoming a citizen: incorporating immigrants and refugees in the United States and Canada.” University of California Press.

Bosniak, Linda (2006) “The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership.” Princeton University Press.

Sparke, Matthew (2009), On denationalization as neoliberalization: Biopolitics, class interest, and the incompleteness of citizenship, in Diane E. Davis, Julian Go (ed.) 20 (Political Power and Social Theory, Volume 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.287-300

– Health risks and marginalized populations: interdisciplinary reflection on the centrality of human rights in the citizen status by C. Vezina and E. Bernheim.
Although citizenship is supposed to ensure equal treatment of persons within the same country, it is sometimes otherwise in practice. The following article talks about how risk management-important prerogative of the state-varies depending on whether the citizen population classical, or the so-called marginalized. The authors state that this distinction is a real attack on the citizenship of these people.

– Justice and citizenship: the judicialization of social conflict in Brazil and Quebec by R.-E. Rojo
This article examines the actions of citizens by focusing on those in the field of consumption in Quebec and Brazil. Actions that are based on newly acquired rights through Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec constitution of 1988. This article makes it possible to see through two examples how citizens exercise their rights (a component of citizenship) newly acquired.

– Nottebohm Case. C.I.J (1955)
This judgment of the International Court of Justice addresses the issue of attribution of nationality. It is established that giving citizenship to a citizen is an act of domestic law with respect to each state. But internationally, this act will not always have the full effect. The court explained the principle of “effective nationality” where a link is real, based on several criteria, must exist between the state and the citizen. It therefore appears a distinction between effective nationality, that must be recognized by all the international arena, and one which would not, as in the case of Nottebohm. Foreign states thus have no obligation to recognize citizenship based on nationality ineffective.



Munroe, Susan. http://canadaonline.about.com/od/citizenship/g/cdncitizen.htm

Roget’s Illustrated, Paris, Éditions Larousse, 2011.

Wikipedia, online: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citoyen

Citizenship Act, L.R.C 1985, c. C-29.

ROJO, R.-E., “Justice and citizenship: the judicialization of social conflict in Brazil and Quebec,” in Bank of Soquij Doctrine, 2004.

VEZINA, C. E. Bernheim and E. Bedard, “Health Risks and marginalized populations: interdisciplinary reflection on the centrality of human rights in the citizen status.” In the Bank of Soquij Doctrine, 2011.

SLOSAR, S., “Canadian Citizenship and its legal effects.” In the Bank of Soquij Doctrine, 2011.

Nottebohm Case (Liechtenstein v.. Guatemala), judgment of 6 April 1955, ICJ Reports 1955, p.4, online: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/18/2673.pdf


Other related words (may be concepts):

  • Noncitizen; alien
  • Citizenry; Nation-State
  • Citizenship; Citizeness