What is a Citizen?
CITIZENSHIP, ALIENAGE, AND THE MODERN CONSTITUTIONAL STATE: A GENDERED HISTORY, Helen Irving, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2016
33 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2016 Last revised: 8 Nov 2016
Date Written: October 13, 2016
This paper is an edited version of the concluding chapter of my book, Citizenship, Alienage and the Modern Constitutional State: A Gendered History (Cambridge University Press 2016) which records and explains the history of citizenship-stripping (“marital denaturalisation”) from women who married foreign men (and the parallel conferral, by many countries, of the husband’s citizenship: “marital naturalisation”), a legal practice that was followed in virtually every country in the world between the early-to-mid nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century (and ultimately repudiated in the 1957 UN Convention on the Nationality of Married Women). The book locates this practice in the formation of modern citizenship laws and explains it as an aspect of the emergence of modern international relations. Its concluding chapter is a reflection on what this history reveals about the nature of citizenship. It challenges theories of citizenship as rights and citizenship as participation, and offers an ‘existential’ defence of citizenship that prioritises protection of the citizen on the part of the state.
Keywords: Citizenship, Nationality, Denaturalisation
JEL Classification: K10, K23, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation