The world of citizenisation
Life in the waiting room
in Uncertain citizenship
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Chapter 1 has two aims. First, to situate citizenisation policies within the broader European context where they have become ‘common sense’, and second to introduce theoretical underpinnings and heuristic devices supporting this book. The chapter argues that studying the ‘social life’ of citizenisation forces a reconsideration of the relationship between integration and naturalisation by asking a deceptively simple question: what is naturalised in citizenisation? The chapter then develops a conjunctural analysis of converging trends of neoliberal governance that retool citizenship through its skillification, securitisation and renewed domestication, and argues that citizenisation – and by extension migratisation – is a social intervention that reaches far beyond those that it targets – migrants – and reaches into the fabric of society as a whole. The chapter also introduces ‘the waiting room’ as a heuristic device that foregrounds three axes of citizenisation: temporality – how citizenship takes time; spatiality – how citizenship takes place; and affect/bodies – how citizenship takes hold. The device of the waiting room captures the interplay between, on the one hand, the structural and institutional conditions that bring people to the waiting room – as language teachers, registrars, ceremony officials or migrants – and on the other hand, how people inhabit these governing practices.

Uncertain citizenship

Life in the waiting room

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