On the comparative level, the object of this book is twofold: to analyse the different assumptions about gender and citizenship in France, Britain and Denmark; and to analyse the interaction between women's agency, political discourse and political institutions and the implications for social policies and democracy in all three cases. The basic assumption is that there is indeed room for women's agency to influence political discourse, political institutions and public policies depending on the national contexts.
The Heritage from Marshall
T. H. Marshall's model is contested. Sociologists have used his framework when analysing the institutionalisation of social rights (Turner 1992), whereas political scientists have emphasised the participatory aspect and the need to integrate social groups not just because of their socioeconomic status but also because of their socio-cultural ‘difference’ (Young 1990a).
Today, Marshall is used as the inspiration behind rethinking the framework of citizenship and as a critical measure in our evaluating the extent to which modern democracies live up to the ideals of freedom and equality. The British sociologist Nira Yuval-Davis (1997: 49) has recently suggested that Marshall's definition enables us to discuss citizenship as a multi-tier construct, a construct that applies to people's membership in a variety of collectivities – local, ethnic, national and transnational.
Marshall's model was based on the development of the rights of men and thus failed to notice that the development of women's rights and other subordinated groups has had its own history and logic.