The Return of Banishment: Do the New Denationalisation Policies Weaken Citizenship?

65 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2015

See all articles by Audrey Macklin

Audrey Macklin

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rainer Baubock

European University Institute

Date Written: February 2015


In this EUDO CITIZENSHIP Forum Debate, several authors discuss the growing trend in Europe and North America of using denationalisation of citizens as a counter-terrorism strategy. The deprivation of citizenship status, alongside passport revocation, and denial of re-admission to citizens returning from abroad, manifest the securitisation of citizenship. Britain leads in citizenship deprivation, but in 2014, Canada passed new citizenship-stripping legislation and France’s Conseil Constitutionnel recently upheld denaturalisation of dual citizens convicted of terrorism-related offences. In the wake of the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria, assorted legislators in Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States have expressed interest in enacting (or reviving) similar legislation. The contributors to the Forum Debate consider the normative justification for citizenship deprivation from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. There is relatively little disagreement among commentators about the limited instrumental value of citizenship revocation in enhancing national security, and more diversity in viewpoint about its significance for citizenship itself. The contributors discuss the characterisation of citizenship as right versus privilege, the relevance of statelessness and dual nationality, the relative merits of citizenship versus human rights as normative framework, and the expansiveness of banishment itself as a concept.

Keywords: Denationalisation, citizenship, terrorism, banishment, exile, United Kingdom, Canada, USA

Suggested Citation

Macklin, Audrey and Baubock, Rainer, The Return of Banishment: Do the New Denationalisation Policies Weaken Citizenship? (February 2015). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/14, Available at SSRN: or

Audrey Macklin (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Rainer Baubock

European University Institute ( email )

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