Citizenship with a Vengeance

Catherine Dauvergne


This Article situates contemporary shifts in citizenship law within a story of the relationship of globalization and illegal migration. The central argument is that citizenship as a formal legal status is enjoying a resurgence of authority at present. This mirrors the paradoxical nature of globalization itself: along the vector of citizenship, both inclusions and exclusions are increasing at present. As states are increasingly unable to assert exclusive power in a range of policy domains, immigration and citizenship law are transformed into a last bastion of sovereignty. Many shifts in citizenship law are explained through an understanding of how migration law and citizenship law work in tandem to form the border of the national community. Recent changes in citizenship law respond to two trends: a crackdown on extra-legal migration and a desire to reassert authority over diasporic populations. While the focus of the Article is on citizenship as a formal legal status, the importance of amnesty programs for extra-legal migrants demonstrates that ultimately the bifurcation of formal and substantive citizenship is untenable.

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