The main focus of this study is upon citizenship and its relationship to two levels of political organisation: the nation-state and the regional polity. This relationship is discussed both on a general level and with regards to the Middle East as an empirical illustration. Analytically, citizenship has been operationalised into two distinctions: nominal and substantial citizenship. The former has to do with membership and the latter has to do with the quality of that membership. The bulk of the study concentrates upon nominal citizenship; the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion of individuals or group of individuals in a political community. Three different aspects are necessary for a comprehensive analysis of citizenship: (1) the rights and obligations attributed to citizens as members of a polity, (2) the determination individual membership, and (3) the nature and shape of the polity itself. Within this context one assumption is deduced: the principles for organisation of a political community determine who should simultaneously be defined as members of the polity. By utilising universalism as a normative principle for membership in any political community several problems and dilemmas can be identified with the present organisation of citizenship in the nation-state. Further, by taking into account arguments from international relations theory and more general political theory some assumptions for analysis is set forth:1) Every individual should have a basic set of rights which should apply equally to all members of the community.2) This set of rights can only be secured within the context of a political community who has institutionalised this set of rights.3) In order to define membership one has to have criteria for who should be excluded and included. This represents a dilemma because the modern principle for political organisation is the nation-state. In the nation-state membership is based on a congruence between the borders of the nation and the borders of the territorial state. Consequently, only those who belong to the nationality of the state are included. Thus, those not belonging to this nationality are excluded. 4) This dilemma of exclusion is further reinforced by the fact that most nation-states of today consist of several nationalities. Further, the term nation is a term that lacks both theoretical and empirical clarity. To define the nation objectively is an impossible task; it needs a subjective elements which exposes it for political manipulation. Consequently, diverging perceptions of what the nation is and who belongs to the nation is present in many states. When these dilemmas is coupled to the concept of sovereignty the exclusion of individuals becomes even more visible. The national regime in any state is absolute sovereign with regards to define who are its members. My definition of the nation-state deviates from the ideal of the French Revolution; it is no longer a neutral politico-territorial community. Rather, it is a highly politicised community giving one group superiority; the national group. This is what I have defined as the partisan nation-state. On this background I identify several weaknesses with the nation-state’s capability of becoming an all-inclusive polity. Logically, I set forth an alternative: the regional polity. However, the regional polity encounters problems and dilemmas of its own. Consequently, the last chapter of this study attempts to assess this polity’s capability as a level of political organisation in its own right, both with regards to its empirical viability and normative dilemmas for the organisation of citizenship. Indirectly, this study also covers the dilemmas of different ideals of citizenship. Through the discussion on the nation-state and the regional polity some dilemmas of the universal ideal of citizenship becomes particularly evident. As such, the aim of this study has been to provide exposure of the dilemmas of the universal ideal of citizenship within the context of the nation-state and the regional polity.