International Citizenship: The Future of Nationality in a Globalised World

35 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2000

Date Written: 2000


This article attempts to identify the consequences for "nationality" in a world where "sovereignty" is challenged by the process of globalization. It builds upon Kim Rubenstein's chapter Citizenship in a Borderless World in A Anghie and G Sturgess (eds) LEGAL VISIONS OF THE 21ST CENTURY: ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF JUDGE CHRISTOPHER WEERAMANTRY (Kluwer Law, 1998) and responds to the feature article Citizenship Denationalized by Linda Bosniak in the same Spring 2000 edition of the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies.

The piece begins by defining "nationality" and "globalization". It distinguishes "citizenship" and "nationality" in a technical legal sense and considers citizenship and globalization as multifaceted concepts. It also highlights that there is an inherent tension in the development of citizenship for the citizenship project is about the expansion of equality among citizens, however, as equality is based upon membership, citizenship status forms the basis of an exclusive politics and identity. The article then concentrates on some tensions endemic to nationality, particularly in a globalized world. It does so by looking at nationality's functionality as a legal and social tool, concentrating upon various treaties and agreements and the international case law dealing with nationality. The case law analysis is divided into the "Standing Cases" and the "Human Rights Cases". Finally, the article concludes by arguing that the concept of effective nationality facilitates a theoretical (if not yet a practical) entry point for the acknowledgment of layered and/or fragmented nationality appropriate to the circumstances of our participation in a given national, supranational, regional or even non-territorial community.This puts nationality more in line with a "rights" -based individualized focus for international law rather than a sovereignty-based one. It is where the progressive project of citizenship meets nationality, melding, strengthening and integrating them as one and the same tool for building justice in a new era.

JEL Classification: K10, K33

Suggested Citation

Rubenstein, Kim and Adler, Daniel, International Citizenship: The Future of Nationality in a Globalised World (2000). Available at SSRN: or

Kim Rubenstein (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

Daniel Adler


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