Transnational Politics and the Democratic Nation-State: Normative Challenges of Expatriate Voting and Nationality Retention of Emigrants

New York University Law Review, vol. 81, n. 1, 2006, pages 101-131

31 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018

See all articles by Ruth Rubio-Marin

Ruth Rubio-Marin

European University Institute; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

In this piece, Ruth Rubio-Marín discusses how emigrant citizenship (understood as emigrants' efforts to remain included in their national communities and the efforts by emigration states to encourage this) relates to the prevailing notion of the nationstate. She argues that emigrant citizenship challenges some of the traditional elements of the nation-state construct, such as the mutually exclusive and territorially bounded notion of political belonging, while, on the whole, reasserting the relevance of national membership. The piece then turns to the normative force of the concept of emigrant citizenship, focusing on two of the claims that are more commonly articulated by expatriates: absentee voting and a right to retain their nationality of origin even if they naturalize in the country of residence. Rubio-Marín argues that emigrants have a right to retain their nationality of origin, and with it, a sense of national identity, their ties with the country of origin, and the option to return, even if they naturalize abroad. Yet she finds that they do not have a similar right to absentee voting. Instead, absentee voting should only be seen as an option that, under certain circumstances, sending countries may legitimately embrace. This holds true, she claims, regardless of expatriates' contributions to the national economies through remittances or other forms of capital inflow.

Keywords: Immigration, Citizenship, Nation-State

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Rubio-Marin, Ruth, Transnational Politics and the Democratic Nation-State: Normative Challenges of Expatriate Voting and Nationality Retention of Emigrants (2006). New York University Law Review, vol. 81, n. 1, 2006, pages 101-131 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3134064

Ruth Rubio-Marin (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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