This implies immediate consequences for those issues strictly linked to the nation-state organizational form, such as that of citizenship. The modern nation-state system has regulated membership in terms of national citizenship. In the global era, however, the idea of a bounded nation-state community appears to be, at the very least, problematic. We are facing a disaggregation of citizenship, the emergence of an international human rights regime and the spread of cosmopolitan norms.
As globalisation proceeds, all of these phenomena challenge the three regulative ideals on which democratic sovereignty is based: the idea that people are the author and subject of laws, the ideal of a unified demos and the idea of a self-enclosed and autochthonous territory over which the demos governs. That is to say, the institutional developments of our contemporary era unbundle the three constitutive dimensions of citizenship: collective identity, the privileges of political membership and the entitlements of social rights and benefits.
Due to the global interconnections of human relations, we need a new reconfiguration of the institution of citizenship, open to subnational and transnational democratic iterations. Indeed, the new form of post-Westphalian politics of global interdependence suggests that democratic citizenship can also be exercised across national boundaries: in local, transnational and global contexts. But, the new meta-national citizenship has yet to be built: is it really possible to organise a democracy without borders? How can we reconcile cosmopolitism and democratic self-governance? Is there a contraposition between human rights (the rights addressed to humans as such) and citizens’ rights (the rights addressed to a specific human, member of a particular community)? It could be interesting to think of all these problems while also considering the possible need for new forms of citizenship conceived beyond the borders of each State before the realization of a better-defined concept of global citizenship. It could also be useful to reflect upon the current concept of citizenship and on its instability in the face of mass migration, incapacity of nation states to control their own borders and ever-increasing social inequality.