e-Duke Books

Citizenship in Question:

Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness

Edited by Benjamin N. Lawrance and Jacqueline Stevens

Citizenship is often assumed to be a clear-cut issue—either one has it or one does not. However, as the contributors to Citizenship in Question demonstrate, citizenship is not self-evident; it emerges from often obscure written records and is interpreted through ambiguous and dynamic laws. In case studies that analyze the legal barriers to citizenship rights in over twenty countries, the contributors explore how states use evidentiary requirements to create and police citizenship, often based on fictions of racial, ethnic, class, and religious differences. Whether examining the United States’ deportation of its own citizens, the selective use of DNA tests and secret results in Thailand, or laws that have stripped entire populations of citizenship, the contributors emphasize the political, psychological, and personal impact of citizenship policies. Citizenship in Question incites scholars to revisit long-standing political theories and debates about nationality, free movement, and immigration premised on the assumption of clear demarcations between citizens and noncitizens.


Contributors. Alfred Babo, Jacqueline Bhabha, Jacqueline Field, Amanda Flaim, Sara L. Friedman, Daniel Kanstroom, Benjamin N. Lawrance, Beatrice McKenzie, Polly J. Price, Rachel E. Rosenbloom, Kim Rubenstein, Kamal Sadiq, Jacqueline Stevens, Margaret D. Stock

Bibliographic Information

Citizenship in Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness
Edited by: 
  • Benjamin N. Lawrance
  • Jacqueline Stevens
Copyright year: 
  • 2017
ISBN electronic: 
ISBN cloth: 
ISBN paper: 

Author Bio

  • Benjamin N. Lawrance is Hon. Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Professor of International Studies and Professor of History and Anthropology at Rochester Institute of Technology and the author of Amistad's Orphans: An Atlantic Story of Children, Slavery, and Smuggling. Jacqueline Stevens is Professor of Political Science and founding director of the Deportation Research Clinic in the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University and the author of States without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals.

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