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The Relationship between the State and the Citizen - Essay Example

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The aim of the essay "The Relationship between the State and the Citizen" is to discuss the relation between the state government and its citizens with a reflection of the level of response the government has to the demands of its citizens…
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The Relationship between the State and the Citizen

Download file to see previous pages... The exact relationship between a state and its citizens is of profound concern since the state seeks to acquire maximum authority while the citizen seeks to acquire maximum liberty, a condition that is impossible in reality. However, to achieve a necessary compromise of both sides, reasonable amount of power and authority is made available to the state to ensure its smooth running and reasonable liberty is made available to the citizens to ensure the best developments of their personalities. A citizen is not necessarily a person who lives within the boundaries of a state but rather an individual who enjoys the rights made available to them and that are recognized by the state and also one who participates in the affairs of the state. The interests of the citizen should not be in conflict with the state since both the state and the individual depend on each other. The citizen depends on the state for safety, law and order as well for facilities that enable them undertake their day-to-day activities with ease.
According to Veneklassen and Miller (2002), there are three definitions of citizenship that relate the status of an individual to the relationship with a nation-state (32). These include:
Civil citizenship. It emerged in the Western world in the 18th century and it refers to the human rights necessary to ensure freedom of every individual. These rights include free speech, freedom of assembly, equality and property rights.
Political citizenship. This definition emerged as a result of the struggles in the 19th century and it accentuates the right to participation in exercising political power. It was characterized by the struggle by women, minorities and poor people to acquire the right to vote which was initially granted only to male individuals who owned property. Social citizenship. It emerged in the 20th century and it emphasises on minimum rights and standards of economic, social and cultural well-being. It is a struggle by the disadvantaged groups to make this view of citizenship legitimate. States today are generally less responsive to the needs of their citizens and the deficit of most democratic states in being adequately democratic is a clear indication of this. The governments in these states are adapting a trend in which they are becoming more responsive to the needs of individuals or groups who are concerned with a particular part of the economy and are less responsive to the needs of the general public. Despite the requirement of a democratic political system where every citizen has equal rights and a say in the governing process, some organizations and individuals have an elevated influence over the governing process by trying to influence legislators or bureaucrats to act in their favour. As a result of this, the few in power satisfy their greed at the expense of the needs of the majority of the citizens. A state that is less responsive to the needs of its people is generally less likely to undertake duties allocated to it in the best interests of the general ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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