Focal Study 1: Migration and Unequal Citizenship

As citizenship is linked to the nation-state it is a key dimension of global inequalities. The concept of citizenship thus becomes ambivalent: as an emancipatory concept it promises equal rights to its members; at the same time it legitimizes the exclusion of all who are defined as not belonging to the nation-state’s demos. This can take as much the form of discrimination within the state’s borders as that of restricting migration at its borders. Following Shachar we can thus speak of citizenship as a form of inherited entitlement.

This focal study connects to Hoffmann‘s argument that, in contrast to the assumptions of the classic assimilation paradigm, in the case of transnational migration exit, voice and loyalty no longer are mutually exclusive categories. Much rather, they co-exist: Emigrants maintain bonds of loyalty as much as social and political claims to their country of origin. The work package thus addresses what has been rather a blind spot of contemporary research: while cross-border migration seeks to overcome socio-economic inequalities globally, migrants still have to negotiate their citizen rights within a political arena marked by the nation-state. This is reflected in two trends: For one, in the struggles to expand the political rights of denizens, that is of migrants who are not citizens of their country of residence; and second, in increased political efforts of migrant-sending countries to maintain and develop links to their emigrated citizens even if they permanently settle beyond the nation’s borders (diaspora engagement).

Researcher: Henio Hojo

 

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