Asking the ‘other questions’
Applying intersectionality to understand statelessness in Europe
in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
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This chapter argues for the usefulness of intersectional feminist analysis in statelessness work. It presents an introductory analysis of how a complex web of power, socio-cultural, disciplinary, interpersonal, hegemonic, and structural relations impact those affected by statelessness. The discussion is grounded in the experiences of multiply marginalised populations in Europe, such as Romani women and same-sex parents, as documented by the European Network on Statelessness. The authors contribute theoretical and practical expertise to move the sector towards a more nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of people affected by multiple forms of discrimination and statelessness, and what this means for policy advocacy in the short and longer term. By applying intersectionality, researchers and advocates can look inside categories, such as a minority group or ‘the stateless’, to understand differences in lived experiences and stitch together new understandings, policy solutions, and effective coalitions for change. In the longer term, intersectional thinking enables those coalitions to transform governance by dismantling exclusionary forms of citizenship which are rooted in patriarchy and institutionalised racism. The authors contend that starting from the lived experiences of stateless people, and asking the other question(s), can make a promising starting point in the political project of fulfilling multiply marginalised people’s human right to a nationality.


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