Why do people practice citizenship in a partisan rather than in a deliberative fashion? We argue that they are not intractably disposed to one type of citizenship, but instead adopt one of two different modes depending on the strategic character of current circumstances. While some situations prompt partisan solidarity, other situations encourage people to engage in open-minded deliberation. We argue that the type of citizenship practiced depends on the engagement of the emotions of anxiety and aversion. Recurring conflict with familiar foes over familiar issues evokes aversion. These angry reactions prepare people for the defense of convictions, solidarity with allies, and opposition to accommodation. Unfamiliar circumstances generate anxiety. Rather than defend priors, this anxiety promotes the consideration of opposing viewpoints and a willingness to compromise. In this way, emotions help people negotiate politics and regulate the kinds of citizenship they practice.