Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Source Publication

Law Commission of Canada (ed), Law & Citizenship. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, 2006.


This chapter explores emerging discourses of economic citizenship and con- siders how they might illuminate developments in taxation and securities law and policy. In previous work, we have discussed how different fields of business and commercial law help to construct and regulate a gendered and classed economic order (Condon 2000, 2001, 2002; Philipps 1996, 2002, 2003). Here we draw upon theories of citizenship as a possible source of new insights about the formation and governance of an increasingly market- oriented social order and law’s role in that process. First, we focus on the significant theoretical challenges posed by emergent notions of economic citizenship, specifically the need to redefine the role of states, citizens, and law in this new context. Second, we map out four substantive elements that together comprise the developing discourse of economic citizenship:

  1. economic liberty, defined as the right to access markets;
  2. economic security;
  3. responsibilities of economic citizenship; and
  4. participation in economic decision making.

Each of these is analyzed to reveal the diverse meanings being attached to economic citizenship, and particularly how gender is (or is not) addressed within different strands of the discourse. Third, we apply this framework in a discussion of two contemporary case studies, the first on the formation of tax law through fiscal policy and budget processes, the second on the governance of investment funds. An overriding objective of the chapter is to assess the progressive potential of economic citizenship discourse to achieve enhanced accountability and social justice in the economic domain. Our concluding section observes that any such potential depends upon recognition that markets and market institutions are subject to public norms of equality and justice. This study suggests that the possibilities for advancing such a version of economic citizenship may be more limited in the context of investment fund governance than in the field of fiscal policy.

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