Transforming Citizenship cover
Transforming Citizenship
Democracy, Membership, and Belonging in Latino Communities
In Transforming Citizenship Raymond Rocco studies the “exclusionary inclusion” of Latinos based on racialization and how the processes behind this have shaped their marginalized citizenship status, offering a framework for explaining this dynamic. Contesting this status has been at the core of Latino politics for more than 150 years. Pursuing the goal of full, equal, and just inclusion in societal membership has long been a major part of the struggle to realize democratic normative principles. This illuminating research demonstrates the inherent limitations of the citizenship regime in the United States for incorporating Latinos as full societal members and offers an alternative conception, “associative citizenship,” that provides a way to account for and challenge the pattern of exclusionary belonging that has defined the positions of the Latinos in U.S. society. Through a critical engagement with key theorists such as Rawls, Habermas, Kymlicka, Walzer, Taylor, and Young, Rocco advances an original analysis of the politics of Latino societal membership and citizenship, arguing that the specific processes of racialization that have played a determinative role in creating and maintaining the pattern of social and political exclusions of Latinos have not been addressed by the dominant theories of diversity and citizenship developed in the prevalent literature in political theory.
Publication Date: July 1st, 2014
278 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Early Praise

“In this important new book, Raymond Rocco explores with conceptual clarity and originality the meaning of Latino politics and multicultural citizenship. Rocco’s intervention revitalizes the study of Chicano/Latino politics as social critique. This is a timely contribution to political theory and citizenship studies—lucid, informed, and insightful.”
Rodolfo D. Torres, Director of Urban Studies and Professor of Urban Planning, Chicano/Latino Studies, Political Science, and Culture and Theory, University of California, Irvine
“In this timely and convincing book, Raymond Rocco offers a strikingly capacious notion of Latino politics that goes well beyond counting votes…. With its rare balance of theoretical contemplation and empirical substance, Rocco’s book is a must-read for all who rightly suspect that a resolutely critical conception of democracy must grapple with concrete experiences of racism and bold challenges to it.”
Paul Apostolidis, Professor and Judge and Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science, Whitman College
“Combining a nuanced and critical reading of foundational texts in democratic theory with the results of thousands of hours of fieldwork, Rocco demonstrates how, through their struggles for citizenship, Latino communities are engaging in a new and potentially counterhegemonic politics. His cogent analysis pushes scholars to consider the ways that Latino citizenship problematizes traditional conceptions of inclusion, belonging, and voice within American democracy and provides crucial insights into how racialization processes affect U.S. social and political membership.”
Lisa García Bedolla, Professor of Social and Cultural Studies, University of California, Berkeley
“In this capacious and wide-ranging work, Raymond Rocco makes the urgent claim that political theory must develop accounts of citizenship that put the history and experiences of Latinos at the center of its analysis. It’s a demand political theorists should take to heart.”
Cristina Beltrán, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and author of The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity
“Rocco significantly enhances our understanding of racialized exclusion affecting Latina/os in the United States while advancing a complex theory of membership, belonging, empowerment, and full incorporation centered around a reconceptualization of citizenship and a relational approach to politics. This book simultaneously challenges, provokes, and contributes a compelling articulation of race and citizenship that is indispensable to scholars, researchers, and students of politics.”
Anna Sampaio, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Political Science, Santa Clara University


Book AwardLatino Caucus of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Latino Politics Best Book Prize, 2014
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