Descent, birthplace and residence: Aligning principles of citizenship with realities of migrant transnationalism

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2017) Descent, birthplace and residence: Aligning principles of citizenship with realities of migrant transnationalism, Norwegian Journal of Geography. DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2017.1369456.

​The article presents a theoretical argument for aligning principles of citizenship with realities of migrant transnationalism and dual citizenship. Migrant transnationalism and dual citizenship challenge zero-sum understandings of belonging and residence as rooted in one place only. Through the lens of residence, the authors connect insights from migrant transnationalism literature with citizenship studies’ focus on principles of citizenship. Principles of citizenship based on descent and birthplace build on particular genealogies of belonging that define membership, and are the basis on which citizenship is granted. Neither of the two principles provides adequate answers to how naturalisation, in terms of belonging to the political community, can be justified as anything other than exceptions. Jus domicili offers a complementary alternative, wherein belonging is connected to residence, thus moving naturalisation out of the realm of exceptions. A configuration of principles of citizenship that is aligned with realities of migrant transnationalism and dual citizenship must build on complementary genealogies of belonging, including descent, birthplace and residence. Doing so requires acknowledging differing temporalities of belonging. A legal framework that strengthens the potential for realising equal citizenship in diverse societies necessitates a rejection of the hierarchies reflected in genealogies of belonging that underlie citizenship principles.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00291951.2017.1369456