The National State and the Concept of Citizenship

Written by : Abdelmoeti Abuzaid
The Editor-in-Chief & Head of Foreign Information Sector

As known and established over the last three centuries, the concept of modern national state is based on the idea that the state is an essential entity of human life. It is informed by the fundamental idea of "the State for all its citizens" without discrimination between them on the basis of religion, race, sex, social class, creed or any difference in social, political or cultural qualities.


In this sense, the modern nation State has eliminated many phenomena in which nations have lived for centuries, such as granting the existence of classes to which the citizens of the state belong. Some nations use belonging to a social class as a basis for discrimination in rights and duties. One other basis for discrimination is race or ethnicity. Another is the creation of a hierarchy of citizenship as witnessed under the rule of colonial imperial states, which also takes the form of domination by some states of other states’ will.


At the same time, the relationship between the components of a national state is based on a "citizenship contract" which assigns the individual rights of equality, equality of opportunity, justice, security and liberties, and imposes duties on the individual towards the state and other citizens.


In recent years, the essence of this concept of citizenship has been a target for attempts to distort it. It was therefore imperative that this periodical Studies in Human Rights should open this file, and allow distinguished intellectuals and specialists in the fields of law, society, politics and culture, to provide their contributions in an effort to restore this concept to its origin, and emphasize the true meaning of citizenship in thought, law and practice, with the ensuing responsibilities of the state and the individual. This is given with a thorough scientific explanation of the reality and application of the principle of citizenship in Egypt, whether in legislative and constitutional texts, in court rulings or the practical reality in people's lives. In addition, this issue of Studies in Human Rights includes other contributions on "Women's Rights in the Egyptian Constitution and Legislation" and "Role of Egyptian Drama in Cinema and Television in Countering Violence and Hate Speech". This is besides follow-ups, book reviews, seminars, conferences, reports and others. We hope that this issue will receive your attention like its predecessors.