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Democracy & Development: Journal of West African Affairs

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Citizenship and Social Order: Reflections on Plato

Ujomu Philip Ogo

Abstract


French Abstract (Résumé)

Citoyenneté et ordre social: réflexions sur Platon
Cet article traite de la relation entre ordre social citoyenneté et en s\'inspirant de Platon. L\'ordre social renvoie à des questions fondamentales de justice, de coopération entre les hommes et de recherche du bien commun. Il s\'agit donc de savoir comment les responsabilités et les droits peuvent être partagés et gérés entre les citoyens. La crise actuelle de l\'ordre social génère des problèmes de citoyenneté, comme celui de sécurité qui en découle, et qui touchent la plupart des sociétés africaines comme au Nigeria. Comment concilier dans ce cas la question de la citoyenneté et celle de la communauté ? L\'article s\'appuie sur Platon pour mieux comprendre cette problématique aux plans historique, conceptuel et théorique.


This paper focuses on the problem of citizenship and social order by drawing on the lessons of an ancient philosopher – Plato. The problem of social order has consequences for the idea of citizenship. This is the search for community, which raises fundamental questions about justice between men and how they can achieve cooperation for the common good in the society. This borders on the question of how rights and duties, benefits and burdens, as well as responsibilities can be properly and effectively maintained among the members of society. Thus, the issue of citizenship will make better sense theoretically if situated against the backdrop of a conceptual model such as social order. This essay is significant because of the reality of the crisis of social order and the problem of security arising thereof. The idea of security is of value, in itself as central to the human project, and also as the central goal of the quest for social order. However, the problem confronting most African nations including Nigeria suggests contradictions arising from a disconnection between citizenship, social order and security, as occasioned by systematic social anomie and degeneration of the quality of human life in the society, has raised questions about the capacity of a society to ensure ideological transformation and political community. This work appeals to the ideas of an ancient classical philosopher – Plato, in order to provide a conceptual, historical and theoretical analysis of the problematic.
Democracy & Development Vol.4(1) 2004: 11-30



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