Legal membership in a country / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Citizenship is the enjoyment by a natural person of civil and political rights of a polity, as well as the incurring of duties, which are not afforded to non-citizens.[1]

Though citizenship is often legally conflated with nationality in today's Anglo-Saxon world,[2][3][4] international law does not usually use the term citizenship to refer to nationality,[5][6] these two notions being conceptually different dimensions of collective membership.[7]

Generally citizenships have no expiration and allow persons to work, reside and vote in the polity, as well as identify with the polity, possibly acquiring a passport. Though through discriminatory laws, like disfranchisement and outright apartheid citizens have been made second-class citizens. Historically, populations of states were mostly subjects,[1] while citizenship was a particular status which originated in the rights of urban populations, like the rights of the male public of cities and republics, particularly ancient city-states, giving rise to a civitas and the social class of the burgher or bourgeoisie. Since then states have expanded the status of citizenship to most of their national people, while the extent of citizen rights remain contested.

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