What does it mean to be a good citizen today? What are practices of citizenship? And what can we learn from the past about these practices to better engage in city life in the twenty-first century? Ancient and Modern Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West: Care of the Self is a collection of papers that examine these questions. The contributors come from a variety of different disciplines, including architecture, urbanism, philosophy, and history, and their essays make comparative examinations of the practices of citizenship from the ancient world to the present day in both the East and the West. The papers’ comparative approaches, between East and West, and ancient and modern, leads to a greater understanding of the challenges facing citizens in the urbanized twenty-first century, and by looking at past examples, suggests ways of addressing them. While the book’s point of departure is philosophical, its key aim is to examine how philosophy can be applied to everyday life for the betterment of citizens in cities not just in Asia and the West but everywhere.
Gregory Bracken is an Assistant Professor of Spatial Planning and Strategy at TU Delft and one of the co-founders of Footprint, the e-journal dedicated to architecture theory. From 2009-2015 he was a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Leiden where he set up (with Dr. Manon Ossewijer) the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) with a grant from Marie Curie Actions. His publications include Asian Cities: Colonial to Global (Amsterdam University Press, 2015), and The Shanghai Alleyway House: A Vanishing Urban Vernacular (Routledge 2013, translated into Chinese in 2015).