Tendayi Bloom
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Lindsey N. Kingston
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Introduction
Opening a conversation about statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
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According to international law, a person is considered ‘stateless’ if they are not recognised as a national by any country under the operation of its law. International law, then, provides an important dimension to understanding statelessness, and it is a dimension that has often been privileged. This chapter sets out to open out the discussion of statelessness to include consideration of more dimensions and how they intersect with each other. It shows how opening out the discussion of statelessness in this way provides new avenues for examining the often messy and complex ways in which the structures that govern society move people into and out of recognition. Central to this work is identifying the ‘problem’ that is being examined. While the traditional legal focus can make it easy to frame statelessness – and so also stateless people – as a ‘problem’ to be solved, a broader governance approach challenges this. Examining the relationship between governance and statelessness indicates that situations of statelessness are often underpinned by problems rooted in the governance of citizenship: in how citizenship is allocated, experienced, and even removed. Framing statelessness through governance, then, opens the way for new directions for studying both statelessness and governance. Crucially, this also makes it possible to develop new ways of both understanding and addressing statelessness and its implications.

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