The Securitization of Dual Citizenship
DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: FROM UNITARY TO MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP, Thomas Faist, Peter Kivisto, eds., Palgrave, 2007
14 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2007 Last revised: 27 Jan 2008
The securitization of immigration prioritizes the goal of protecting the body politic from infection by the menacing foreigner. The securitization of legal citizenship complements this process by facilitating the discursive and sometimes literal mutation of the citizen into the foreigner. Investing in mechanisms that enable the conversion or reversion of risky people to the legal status of foreigner simplifies the equation of state security with citizen security. Ordinarily, an elision of national security with citizen security founders on the realization that a state's pursuit of the former almost invariably involves individual rights violations that jeopardize the latter. However, if a population can be persuaded that alleged security risks are or ought to be regarded as essentially 'foreign', then it becomes easier to promote what is done in the name of state security as coeval and consonant with advancing citizen security. This trend carries with it certain implications for discourses and practices of dual citizenship in western industrialized states. I contend that the securitization of citizenship operates by making acquisition of a second citizenship less attainable for refugees and other forced migrants and, paradoxically, by making birthright citizenship itself less secure for certain members of diasporic communities who already possess dual nationality.
Keywords: citizenship, nationality, refugee law, immigration law, security, terrorism
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