The problem of citizenship in global governance
in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
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In order to be seen as a full participant in the global system, a person must usually first be recognised as a citizen of a state. In a world in which not every person is a citizen of a state, and in which states exclude people from full membership, this produces contradictions. For example, it means that when a person is locally excluded, this can in fact produce exclusion from recognition as a person in the international system as a whole. This chapter shows how this exclusion can lead to both invisibility and hypervisibility with respect to global governance projects. First, those excluded from citizenship can be rendered invisible in discussions about sustainable development. That is, rather than being merely ‘left behind’, they are in fact ‘left out’ entirely. Meanwhile, the same individuals can be made hypervisible when it comes to migration governance. Policies ostensibly directed at managing migration in fact target people insofar as they do not have the documentary proof that they are eligible for inclusion in a particular state. This means that the work to address the problems associated with statelessness cannot only fall with UNHCR, the agency with a mandate in this area. This work must be done in every area in which this deference to citizenship currently either leaves stateless people out of consideration or makes them targets. Crucially, this work will require the expert participation of people with direct experience of statelessness.


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