This chapter focuses on how certainties of citizenship are reproduced and naturalised in citizenisation, starting with two of citizenship’s key principles: the wilful autonomous subject and birthright. The chapter unravels how choice and obligation are entangled in ‘birthright’ citizenship that is founded on racialised heteropatriarchal reproductive familial relations that decidedly emplace ‘new citizens’ within the national territory and extracts them from their diasporic belongings, while it presumes a subject who not only chooses citizenship but also who has chosen migration. The chapter further unpicks the ‘value’ of citizenship by scrutinising how the good life, happiness and ‘luck’ function in the idealisation of British citizenship as the source of happiness. The chapter’s final section turns to ‘ordinary’ citizens who reveal how migrants become otherwise throughout the citizenisation process, and ends with Sala, a ‘new’ citizen who untangles the constitutive and necessary postcolonial presence within citizenship, Britishness and the British state. Ultimately, the chapter goes at the heart of the split between becoming British and identifying as other. But this split is not irreparable. When turning the lens of migration more squarely on citizenship, migrant-citizens are actively reconfiguring what it means to become (British) citizen.
The conclusion revisits the waiting room of citizenship and the spatial, temporal, affective processes and practices that produce and reproduce old and new inequalities not only at the national level, but on the international stage. It argues for the importance of contextual research on the social life of citizenisation and migratisation for a better understanding of the ways in which citizenship and ‘the migrant’ are naturalised as mutually exclusive. In turn, examining life in the waiting room also reveals the various ways in which this dualism unravels. Forensic examinations of the perpetuation of nativist, sedentarist politics of belonging and entitlement will not only make it more difficult to turn away from the inequalities they foster and reinforce, but that the combined tools of citizenisation and migration help unravel these injustices and find alternatives to citizenship that embrace migration and difference as constitutive creative forces of all social life.