Citizenship and State

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SLMtitle.png Citizenship and State

By Md. Mohsin

Chapter Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives
  3. Different Aspects of Citizenship
    1. Rights of the citizen
    2. Duties of the citizen
    3. Qualities of the good citizen
  4. Introduction to State
    1. Elements of state
    2. The Function of state
  5. Let's Sum Up
  6. Key Points
  7. Glossary
  8. Practice test
  9. Answers to SAQs

SLMinto.png Introduction

Man lives in society. Citizen and citizenship are closely related to the state. The success of a state depends on good citizens. So it is indispensable for all to have knowledge about citizenship. It is a natural instinct of man to live together with others as a social being. He forms the society by the demand of nature and necessity. And the man of society form different types of institutions for special purposes. The state is a special type of institution. Among all the institutions of the society the most important organization is the state. This chapter describes definition of citizenship, methods of acquiring citizenship, rights of the citizen, duties of the citizen, qualities of the good citizen. It also describes the different aspects of state. Let’s go through the chapter step by step and know about citizenship and state.

SLMobj.png Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you are expected to learn about:

  • Define Citizenship;
  • Describe the method of acquiring citizenship;
  • Classify the rights and duties;
  • Analise the political rights of the citizen;
  • Identify the elements of state; and
  • Describe the functions of the state.

Different Aspects of Citizenship

Definition of Citizen Literally a citizen is an inhabitant of a city. In ancient Greece, the city-state was formed with city and those who were directly connected with its administration were called citizen. The founder of political science, Aristotle says that a person is a citizen who takes active part in the administrative affairs of the city-state. Aristotle's conception of citizen is regarded as narrow. There is a great difference between the modern and the ancient concept of citizenship. In modern states the large population can not directly participate in administration. So, in modern time the definition of citizen has changed. According to Professor Gettell, citizens are the members of that political society who are obliged to discharge their duties to that society and have the right to enjoy all the benefits from that society. Professor Laski says, "A person is a citizen who enjoys the facilities of the state and pays obedience to state." In the context of these concepts we can define that a person is a citizen who lives in the state permanently, owes allegiance to state, wants the welfare of the state and enjoys all the social and political rights given by the state. The citizens, as the members of state, enjoy the state given status. In civics, it is called citizenship. That is; citizenship is the virtue or status of the citizens.

The method of acquiring citizenship: Citizenship can be acquired in two ways: (1) By birth and (2) by naturalization or formal grant.

Citizenship by birth: Those who acquire citizenship by birth are called the citizens by birth.

Naturalized citizen: Those who acquire citizenship on the approval, of law, fulfilling various conditions of a state are called the naturalized citizens.

Citizen by birth: There are two methods of acquiring citizenship by birth. These are-(l) Jus soli and (2) Jus sanguinis.

Jus Soli: According to the principle of Jus Soli, the place of birth determines the citizenship of a man. Thus the children born within the jurisdiction of a state becomes the citizen of that state, irrespective of their parents' citizenship. This rule is followed in the USA.

Jus Sanguinis : According to the principle of Jus Sanguinis the citizenship of the parents determines the citizenship of the child no matter where it is born. This rule is followed in Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. The United Kingdom and the United States of America follow both the principles of Jus sangunis and Jus Soli. Generally no difference is created between the citizens by birth and citizens by naturalization. But in some countries some differences are seen; Such as, in the United States of America a citizen by naturalization can not be a candidate for presidentship.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) - 1
1. "That man who actively takes part in the administration of city-state is a citizen" whose opinion is this?
(a) Plato
(b)E.M. White
(c) Aristotle
(d) Burgess

2. Those who enjoy the political and civil rights given by the state are-

(a) Foreigners
(b) Citizens
(c) Countrymen
(d) People

3. What principles are followed to determine citizenship in Bangladesh?

(a) Education policy
(b) Jus Sangunis
(c) Religious policy
(d) Jus-Soli

4. The principle of Jus-Sangunis and Jus-Soli are folowed at the same time in-

(a) India
(b) France
(c) The United States of America.
(d) Italy

The Rights of the Citizen

In civics the word right is used in special sense. The benefits which the man enjoys as a member of a state are called rights. These rights are indispensably necessary for the welfare of the individual and society. The citizens enjoy these rights given by the state and by the help and support of the state. The state inflicts punishment if anybody encroaches upon the rights of a citizen. Then it can be said that the rights are meant some fundamental privileges which are recognised by the state with the help of which the individual develops his personality and does the welfare of the society. What is this right? In this context a definition of Laskis may be pointed out. "Rights in fact are those privileges of social life without which no man can seek in general to be himself at his best" says Laski.

The classification of rights: The rights are generally divided into two broad categories as: moral right and legal right. The legal right is again divided into two divisions, such as; social right and political right. The classification of rights is shown below in a diagram.

(Comment.gif: Add diagram here) Moral Right Legal Right: Social Right & Political Right.

Moral rights: The rights that are created from the rules of society and conscience are called moral rights; e.g. the right of the beggars to get alms. If the moral rights are violated, the society hates or criticizes. But there is no provision for inflicting punishment for it.

Legal rights: The rights created and approved by the state are called legal rights; e.g. the right to property. For the violation of this right the violator is punished. Civics deals with the legal rights.

Social rights: The rights which help the citizens to lead a civil and improved life and the rights which are indispensably necessary for safety and security of life in the society are called the Social rights. These rights help to develop the virtues of the individual. Without these, it is not possible on the part of a man to lead improved social life. The main Social rights are discussed below:

1.Right to security of life: The right to security of life is the right to life. Unless there is the safety of life other rights become meaningless. It is the responsibility of the state to save the life of the citizens.

2.Right to property: The right to property means to acquire property, to enjoy property and the facilities to transfer property. The meaning of this right is that one's property is not to be encroached upon or plundered by others. It is the responsibility of the state to give security of property.

3. The right to movement: All the citizens have the right to move freely every where in the state. This is a] fundamental right. But if the free movement of the individual becomes the cause of harm to the state, the state can debar him from that.

4. Right to express opinion: This right is the right of freedom to express opinion. This is an important right without this right democracy cannot work. But if the opinion is anti-state or destructive, the state can control it. It is desirable that the opinion should be reasonable, constructive and beneficial to the people.

5.Freedom of the Press: This is the right to express opinion freely through newspapers or books. Newspapers criticizes the government activities and policies. They publish opinions of the government or opposition. These are necessary to form public opinion. To express anti-state and obscene opinion does not fall within this right. In a democratic state this is an important right.

6. Right to hold meeting: The state recognizes the right of holding meetings on different matters. But if te holding of meeting and association are not creative and noble rather they are anti-state or with unlawful motive, the state can control those activities.

7. Right of contract: The citizens have the right to contract for trade and commerce, transfer of property or any other matter. The state helps the citizens to maintain the terms of the contract. But a contract against the state or public welfare cannot be entered into.

8. Right to form family: Right to form family is indispensably necessary for a civilized society. Social life grows up centering round the family. To marry, to produce children, to bring up them and the inheritance are under this right.

9. Right to religion: With the right to religion the citizens at their own will can accept religion, perform the religious rites and preach the religion. Others cannot put obstruction to it.

10. Right to work: A citizen can take up any lawful profession according to his qualification.

11. Equality in the eye of law: Equality in the eye of law means that law is applicable equally for all. The rich and the poor, the strong and the weak- all must obey the law of the state. For committing crime all will suffer the punishment.

12. Right to health and education: For the development of life, health and education are indispensably necessary. The state must ensure the security of public health providing treatment of illness, cleanness, nutrition and safe drinking water. Education makes worthy and conscious citizen. Every citizen has the right to education. It is the duty of the state to provide opportunity of education for all.

13. Right to culture and language: Every citizen has the right to maintain the identity of his own culture and language. This right is indispensably necessary for the citizens of all religion and community to maintain their own independence and identity.

Political Right
The facilities by which the individual can actively participate in conducting the administration of the state are called the political right. Some important political rights are discussed below:

1. Right to live: Every citizen has the right to live in any corner of the state without encroaching upon the right of other citizens and not doing any harm to the state.

2. Right to election: The right to election is of two types. One is the right to election and the other is the right to be elected.

3. Right to security during the stay in foreign land: When any citizen stays in a foreign land and if he faces any difficulty or danger, he can demand security from his own state.

4. Right to get government service: Every citizen has the right to get government service according to his qualification. Through this the citizens take part in state affairs.

5. Right to apply: Every citizen has the right to apply to the proper authority informing of his problems and to expect justice on his application.

6. Right to individual freedom: Every citizen has the right to individual freedom. In a democratic country if this right is violated unlawfully, the citizens can prevent it.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) - 2
True or False
    1. Every citizen has the right to live in any corner of the state. T/F
    2. The right to election is of 3 types. T/F.
    3. When any citizen stays in a foreigen land and if he faces any difficulty, he can demand security from his own state. T/F.
    4. Citizen has no right to get goverment service. T/F.
    5. Every citizen has the right to individual freedom.T/F.

Duties of the Citizens

With the enjoyment of the rights given by the state, the citizens have to discharge some duties also. In civics these responsibilities are called the duties. The main duties of the citizens are described below:

1. Allegiance: One of the responsibilities of the citizen is to owe his allegiance to the state. Allegiance means to remain obedient. The citizens will always be ready to make sacrifice also at the necessity of the state. It is the duty of the citizens to join the armed forces and to fight for the defense of the country. To always help the government employees to maintain law and order of the state is also included in owing allegiance.

2. To obey the law: To obey all the prevalent laws of the state is another important duty of the citizens. Everybody must obey the laws for the maintenance of peace, discipline and security of the state.

3. To cast vote with honesty: The citizens take part in the administration of the state through the casting of vote. Without electing the fit candidate through casting vote honestly, the government will be weak and unfit.

4. To pay tax: Money is necessary for conducting administration, defense and development works of the state. The activities of the government are hampered for want of money if the taxes are not paid timely.

5. To perform Government activities properly: This is another important duty. On the performance of proper activities of the citizens depend the success, development and progress of the government.

6. To give education to the children: Another duty of the citizens is to impart proper education to the children and to build them up as good citizens. The success of a democratic administration depends on well-educated citizens.

SLMact.gif Activity
Acouding to your judgement what kind of duties are violated by some citizens.

The Qualities of Good Citizens

The development, progress and success of any state depend on the citizens. For that reason the citizens should be good. According to political scientist Lord Bryce the virtues of good citizens are three: 1) Intelligence 2) Self-control and 3) Conscience. These three virtues described by Lord Bryce are essential for a good citizen.

1. Intelligence: Intelligence is necessary for the performance of the state duty, forming government, conducting the administration, formulating government policy etc. Along with the enjoying of state facilities, the intelligent citizens become active to do his own duties. For the development of knowledge education in necessary. It is the duty of the government to make all the citizens conscious introducing universal education.

2. Self Control: Self control is an indispensable virtue of the citizens to build up a disciplined state obeying the government and the laws. Self-control inspires the citizens to sacrifice the small self interest in the greater interest of the state. Besides, self-control is also necessary for toleration of others opinion. Self-control is also indispensably necessary to remain free from corruption and nepotism remaining aloof from all temptations. So, self-control is one of the best qualities of a citizen.

3. Conscience: The citizens must have conscience to discharge the duties and responsibilities of the state and for the welfare of the state. A conscientious citizen remains alive to his own responsibilities and duties. He becomes eager to take any step for the development of the state. The right and the unjust depend on judgment and conscience. Social welfare and patriotism give rise to the sense of conscience. So the citizens with the qualities of intelligence, self-control, conscience etc. are called good citizens.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) - 3
According to Lord Bryce how many are the virtues of a good citizen?
(a) 2
(b) 3
(c) 4
(d) 5

Which one is not the quality of a good citizen?

(a) Self-control
(b) Conscience
(c) Arrogance
(d) Intelligence

Introduction to State

Definition of State:
The political scientists have given different definitions of state. According to the opinion of Aristotle, the father of political science, "The state is an organisation consisting some families and villages. According to Woodraw Wilson, "State is a conglomeration of people within a definite territory organised by law". Professor Garner has given a nice and complete definition of state. "The state is a community of persons more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, independent of external control and possessing an organized government to which the great body of inhabitants render habitual obedience". From these definitions of state, it can be said that the state is a political institution of definite territory, organized government, population and with sovereign power.

The Elements of State

To explain the definition of state, it becomes clear with what elements a state is formed. The elements of a state is four in number; e.g. 1. population, 2. definite territory, 3; government and 4. sovereignty. A state is formed with these four elements.

1. Population: Population is the first element of state. To form a state, population is indispensable. A state cannot be formed in an unpopulated forest or in a desert without population. There is no definite rule as to what should he the size of population in a state. In the state of Sanmarino there are little more than twelve thousand people and in China there are about ninety crores of people.

2. Definite Territory: This is the second element of state. The population that forms a state must have a definite territory to live permanently. This definite territory may be of any area. For example- the area of the Peoples Republic of China is 44.5 lakhs sq. mile but Holland (The Netherland) has an area of 12,500 sq. mile.

3. Government: The third element to form a state is government. Without a government the population living in a definite territory cannot form a state. Those who are in charge of conducting the state, that is, the Legislative Division, the Executive Division, and the Judiciary form the government combinedly. There are different types of government in different states.

4. Sovereignty: The chief element to form a state is "sovereignty". This is the supreme and final power of the state. For this power the population becomes a state. This power separates the state from other organization. There are two powers of sovereignty: internal and external. By the internal power the state exercises authority over all individuals and institutions. The external sovereign power, in case of international affairs, keeps the state free from the control and intervention by the external forces. In spite of having population, detmite territory and government, a country without the sovereign power, will not be considered as a state. A state is formed with these four elements. It cannot be formed in the absence of any one of these elements.

The Functions of the State

According to political scientists Willoughby, Gettell, Gilchrist the functions of the modern welfare states can be divided into two classes:

1) Essential or Main functions 2) Welfare or Optional functions

1. Essential or Main functions:
To maintain the existence, independence and sovereignty of the state and to protect the rights of the people the functions performed by the state are called the essential function. To form and maintain the defence force for the deference of the country and to protect the country from the foreign invasion are the essential duties of the state. It is the responsibility of the state to give security of life and property of the citizens and to ensure personal freedom. For that, to maintain internal peace and order is another essential function of the state. In the field of international affairs to sign pact, form alliance to establish diplomatic relation with other states, to conclude different contracts etc. are also essential functions relating to foreign affairs. Besides to conduct.good administration by establishing the rule of law is the essential responsibility of the state.

2. Welfare or optional functions:
The modern states are doing various types of welfare works for the total development of the citizens' moral, social, economic and cultural life. All these activities helpful in development are optional functions. The more the state makes development, the more the scope of its optional functions expands.

The optional functions of the state are as follows:

1. To spread education: The development of a state depends on its educated citizens. So, it is the function of the state to take all out efforts for the spread of education.

2. To maintain public health: Strong and healthy people are the wealth of the state. For that reason, to establish medical centres to maintain public health, to take preventive and curative measures and to take steps for safe drinking water etc. are under this responsibility of the state.

3. Development of industry and commerce: The economic development of the state depends on industry and commerce. To encourage establishing heavy industry, to conduct Bank, Insurance etc. are the optional functions of the state.

4. To maintain communication: The state maintains the communication system both internal and international levels. Good transportation and Communication'are indispensable for the development of the state.

5. Welfare of the workers: The state takes step to fix up the working hour and wage, to provide medical, housing facilities, to establish Labour Court etc. for the welfare of the workers.

6. Social security: The welfare state takes up social security measures helping the destitutes, giving pension to old and unemployed persons etc.

7. Public works: Construction of roads and bridges, development of agriculture and irrigation, helping people at the time of natural calamity, prevention of famine and epidemic, providing sports ground, park, garden etc. are done under the supervision of the state. The aim of the state is to do the over-all welfare of the people. As a result the scope of the optional functions is also increasing extensively.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) - 4
Choose the correct answer:

1. Which right helps to develop human qualities?

(a) Political
(b) Legal
(c) Civil
(d) Economic

2. Political right is-

(a) The right to live
(b) The right to contract
(c) The right to religion
(d) The right to form family

3. What type of right is the 'equal right in the eye of law'?

(a) Political
(b) Social
(c) Economic
(d) Moral

4. By which money is the expenditure of the government conducted?

(a) Public money
(b) Money of the industrialists
(c) Money received from tax
(d) Money of the farmers

5. "A state is an organization consisting of some families and villages" Who has said?

(a) Rousseau
(b) Wilson
(c) Aristotle
(d) Garner

6. Which of the elements is indispensable to form a State?

(a) Government
(b) Dictator
(c) Democracy
(d) Political party

7. What is Sovereignty?

(a) The supreme power of the Government
(b) The supreme power of the State
(c) The supreme power of the President
(d) The supreme power of the Prime Minister

8. The functions of the modern state can be divided into two divisions. Whose opinion is this?

(a) Willoughby and Garner
(b) Garner and Gettell
(c) Gettell and Willoughby
(d) Garner and Wilson

9. Which one is the essential function of the state?

(a) To spread education
(b) Labour welfare
(c) To maintain internal peace and discipline
(d) To establish hospital

SLMsum.png Results

SLMkp.png Key Points

The key points of this chapter are as follows:

  • Jus Soli
  • Jus sanguinis
  • Moral rights
  • Legal rights
  • Social rights
  • Political Right
  • Territory
  • Sovereignty

SLMtest1.png Practice Test


A: Short questions:

  1. What is the definition of a citizen given by Aristotle?
  2. Who are the citizens according to Gettell?
  3. How can the citizenship acquired by naturalization?
  4. What do you understand by social right?
  5. What is the difference between the right to opinion and the freedom of the press?
  6. What do you understand by political right?
  7. Why is the paying of tax a duty of the citizen?
  8. What are the qualities necessary for a good citizen according to Lord Bryce?
  9. Show with the help of diagram the method of acquiring citizenship?
  10. Point out President Woodraw Wilson's definition of state.
  11. What is the most acceptable definition of state? Who gave it?
  12. How many are the elements of a state? What are they?
  13. What does the state do for the defence of the country?
  14. What is meant by the essential functions of the state?
  15. Why does the state do the welfare functions?
  16. Describe two welfare works.

B. Essay type questions:

  1. Who is called a citizen? Give two remarkable definitions of a citizen.
  2. Describe the different methods of acquiring citizenship.
  3. Discuss five social rights of a citizen.
  4. Describe the main political rights.
  5. Discuss the duties of a citizen.
  6. Describe the qualities of the good citizen.
  7. What is called a state? Give two remarkable definitions of State.
  8. What are the elements of a state? Explain.
  9. What are the essential functions of a state? Describe.
  10. Describe the welfare works of a state.