Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2110546
 


 



When Women Were Aliens: The Neglected History of Derivative Marital Citizenship


Helen Irving


University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

July 17, 2012

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/47

Abstract:     
Between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, in virtually every country in the world, women who married foreign men were stripped of their citizenship, and turned into aliens in their own country. Marital denaturalization laws were supported by the international community until well after the Second World War: single citizenship, family unity, diplomatic convenience, and inter-state comity, were treated as imperatives that overrode women’s independent personal status. Such laws, which expanded at the very time when women were gaining legal and political rights, impacted radically, sometimes tragically, on individual lives, including rendering many thousands of women stateless. This essay gives an account of the emergence and evolution of such laws, with particular reference to Britain and the United States. It provides a ‘snapshot’ of individual cases, and an overview of the international community’s response.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

Keywords: citizenship law and history, gender, international law and nationality

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K 33

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Date posted: July 18, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Irving, Helen, When Women Were Aliens: The Neglected History of Derivative Marital Citizenship (July 17, 2012). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/47. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2110546

Contact Information

Helen Irving (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
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