Citizenship in Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness

Duke University Press
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Citizenship is often assumed to be a clear-cut issue—either one has it or one does not. However, as the contributors to Citizenship in Question demonstrate, citizenship is not self-evident; it emerges from often obscure written records and is interpreted through ambiguous and dynamic laws. In case studies that analyze the legal barriers to citizenship rights in over twenty countries, the contributors explore how states use evidentiary requirements to create and police citizenship, often based on fictions of racial, ethnic, class, and religious differences. Whether examining the United States’ deportation of its own citizens, the selective use of DNA tests and secret results in Thailand, or laws that have stripped entire populations of citizenship, the contributors emphasize the political, psychological, and personal impact of citizenship policies. Citizenship in Question incites scholars to revisit long-standing political theories and debates about nationality, free movement, and immigration premised on the assumption of clear demarcations between citizens and noncitizens.
 Contributors. Alfred Babo, Jacqueline Bhabha, Jacqueline Field, Amanda Flaim, Sara L. Friedman, Daniel Kanstroom, Benjamin N. Lawrance, Beatrice McKenzie, Polly J. Price, Rachel E. Rosenbloom, Kim Rubenstein, Kamal Sadiq, Jacqueline Stevens, Margaret D. Stock
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About the author

Benjamin N. Lawrance is Hon. Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Professor of International Studies and Professor of History and Anthropology at Rochester Institute of Technology and the author of Amistad's Orphans: An Atlantic Story of Children, Slavery, and Smuggling.

Jacqueline Stevens is Professor of Political Science and founding director of the Deportation Research Clinic in the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University and the author of States without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Dec 9, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780822373483
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Emigration & Immigration
Political Science / Human Rights
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Americans have come from every corner of the globe, and they have been brought together by a variety of historical processes--conquest, colonialism, the slave trade, territorial acquisition, and voluntary immigration. A thoughtful look at immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and the motivations and experiences of the migrants themselves, this book offers a compact but wide-ranging look at one of America's persistent hot-button issues. Historian David Gerber begins by examining the many legal efforts to curb immigration and to define who is and is not an American, ranging from the Naturalization Law of 1795 (which applied only to "free-born white persons") to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, and the reform-minded Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which opened the door to millions of newcomers, the vast majority from Asia and Latin America. The book also looks at immigration from the perspective of the migrant--farmers and industrial workers, mechanics and domestics, highly trained professionals and small-business owners--who willingly pulled up stakes for the promise of a better life. Throughout, the book sheds light on the relationships between race and ethnicity in the life of these groups and in the formation of American society, and it stresses the marked continuities across waves of immigration and across different racial and ethnic groups. A fascinating and even-handed historical account, this book puts into perspective the longer history of calls for stronger immigration laws and the on-going debates over the place of immigrants in American society. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
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