Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 November 2011
My approach to citizenship reflects inspiration from scholars I have met and collaborated with in different contexts during the last 15 years. I became interested in the concept of democratic citizenship and in the feminist approach to citizenship in the autumn of 1984 while I stayed in Palo Alto as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Research on Women (CROW). This was the first time I met Carole Pateman and Wendy Sarvasy – two political scientists and feminist scholars who became important to my thinking in different ways. Carole Pateman gave me her Berkeley Lectures ‘Women and Democratic Citizenship’ to be delivered in the spring of 1985. Wendy Sarvasy has remained my best friend and critic, and we worked together to develop a new framework to understand the intermeshing of social and political citizenship.
A crucial inspiration for rethinking citizenship in a Danish context was the participation in the research group on Democratic Citizenship in Denmark at Aalborg University (1988–1994). I am grateful to Ann-Dorte Christensen, Johannes Andersen and Lars Torpe, who in different ways have contributed to my understanding of citizenship in Denmark. Together with Anna-Birte Ravn and Anette Borchorst they have made useful comments to the first draft of the chapter on gender and citizenship in Denmark.
The European network for Theory and Research on Women, Welfare State and Citizenship, which was started in 1991, has been another source of inspiration for thinking about social citizenship from a feminist perspective.