Citizenship, Ethics, and the Political

What does the concept of ‘citizenship’ achieve in current geopolitical, economic, and interconnected contexts? Why might people want or not want citizenship? How does this differ from ‘naturalisation’? To what extent do ‘imagined places’ and senses of belonging figure in migrants’ agency, migration policy, or public debate? What role does (or should) nationalism play in debates about citizenship and how it is thought about?


Notes from the discussion by Jonathan Price

Through contrasting the citizenships ascribed to business leaders and migrant workers, Brace reveals the commodification of this status. She reveals the symbolic boundaries that contest the notion of a citizenship in which all people are equal participants. She draws attention to the parallel between the way in which slavery in the 18th century and migration in contemporary society are discussed in the context of citizenship, with certain groups of people wholly excluded. Citizenship as a status defined in legal terms has limitations as it has social and moral underpinnings in which people are dependent and interdependent on one another. However, some people are ‘empty,’ in other words their state of belonging is meaningless and that they do not own themselves.

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Discussion Readings

*Brace, Laura (In Progress). ‘Reflections on the Good Citizen’, in Citizenship and Its Others.
*Ryan, Bernard (2008). Integration Requirements: A New Model in Migration Law. Journal of Immigration and Asylum Law, 22(4): 303-16.
*Vink, Maarten Peter, Tijana Prokic-Breuer, and Jaap Dronkers (2013). Immigrant Naturalization in the Context of Institutional Diversity: Policy Matters, but to Whom? International Migration, 51(5): 1-20.

Discussion readings will be introduced by pre-selected participants at the beginning of the Forum. These introductions are intended to form a common ground for all attending. Readings marked as ‘background’ are good overviews, especially for participants who may be unfamiliar with the topic. Finally, ‘further suggested’ readings are optional pieces recommended by Forum members. They are intended to provide additional comparative, policy-orientated, and/or methodological insights.

Background Readings

Anderson, Bridget (2011). Citizenship: What Is It and Why Does It Matter? Migration Observatory Policy Primer, COMPAS: University of Oxford.
Blinder, Scott (2015). Naturalisation as a British Citizen: Concepts and Trends. Migration Observatory Briefing, COMPAS: University of Oxford.
Bloemraad, Irene, Anna Korteweg, and Gökçe Yurdakul (2008). Citizenship and Immigration: Multiculturalism, Assimilation, and Challenges to the Nation-State. Annual Review of Sociology, 34: 153-179.

Further Suggested Readings

Bosniak, Linda (2000). Citizenship Denationalized. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 7(2): 447-509.
Dzenovska, Dace and Iván Arenas (2012). Don’t Fence Me In: Barricade Sociality and Political Struggles in Mexico and Latvia. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 54(3): 644-678.
Gonzales-Barrera, Ana, Mark Hugo Lopez, Jeffrey S Passel, and Paul Taylor (2013). The Path Not Taken: Two- Thirds of Legal Mexican Immigrants Are Not U.S. Citizens. Research Report, Pew Hispanic Center: Washington, D.C.
Ruth, Kelly and Liam Byrne (2007).A Common Place’ in Free Thinking, Fabian Society: London.
Shachar, Ayelet and Rainier Bauböck, eds (2014). Should Citizenship Be For Sale? Working Paper, European University Institute: Italy.
Welke, Barbara Young (2010). ‘Constructing a Universal Legal Person’, in Law and the Borders of Belonging in the Long Nineteenth Century United States, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.