Friday, October 28, 2011

"Denaturalizing Citizenship" symposium: Smith, Tushnet respond


Issues in Legal Scholarship, a faculty-edited UC Berkeley Law journal, has just published an issue on "Denaturalizing Citizenship," edited by Leti Volpp.  It is a symposium on Linda Bosniak's The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership (2006) and Ayelet Shachar's The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality (2009).

LHB readers may be particularly interested in the contributions by Rogers Smith and Mark Tushnet. Here are the abstracts:

The Political Challenges of Bounded, Unequal Citizenships, Rogers M. Smith (University of Pennsylvania)

The Citizen and the Alien and The Birthright Lottery are outstanding works by scholars well informed on both law and moral philosophy. Their enterprises can be constructively carried further by increased engagement with the politics shaping modern nation-state citizenships. Bosniak’s seminal analysis of the inconsistencies in immigration and citizenship policies can be extended by further engagement with the range of arguments used to defend restrictively bounded national citizenships. Shachar’s bold and original recommendations for lessening the trans-national inequalities of the modern nation-state system might be furthered by building also on obligations stemming from the mutually constitutive past and present relationships between particular richer and poorer states.
Creedal Citizenship, by Mark Tushnet (Harvard University)
This Essay sketches the idea of creedal citizenship, where citizenship results from a person’s agreement with a set of principles that define the nation of citizenship. Some nations already include elements of creedal citizenship in their self-definitions, and the common practice of requiring some degree of civic knowledge as a predicate for naturalization reflects some ideas associated with creedal citizenship. But, in its pure form, creedal citizenship would disconnect citizenship from territory entirely, yet without moving to “world citizenship” or requiring open borders. Creedal citizenship is of course not a realistic policy option anywhere today, but exploring its conceptual contours may illuminate some areas of current controversy.

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