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Life in the waiting room

Uncertainty is central to the governance of citizenship, but in ways that erase, even deny, this uncertainty. Uncertain citizenship investigates this uncertainty from the unique vantage point of ‘citizenisation’ – twenty-first-century integration and naturalisation measures that make and unmake citizens and migrants, while indefinitely holding many applicants for citizenship in what Anne-Marie Fortier calls the waiting room of citizenship. Fortier’s distinctive theory of citizenisation foregrounds how the full achievement of citizenship is a promise that is always deferred. This means that if migrants and citizens are continuously citizenised, so too are they migratised. Citizenisation and migratisation are intimately linked within the structures of racial governmentality that enables the citizenship of racially minoritised citizens to be questioned and that casts them as perpetual migrants.

Drawing on multi-sited fieldwork with migrants applying for citizenship or settlement and with intermediaries of the state tasked with implementing citizenisation measures and policies, Fortier brings life to the waiting room of citizenship, giving rich empirical backing to her original theoretical claims. Scrutinising life in the waiting room enables Fortier to analyse how citizenship takes place, takes time and takes hold in ways that conform, exceed and confound frames of reference laid out in both citizenisation policies and taken-for-granted understandings of ‘the citizen’, ‘the migrant’, and their relationships to citizenship. Uncertain citizenship’s nuanced account of the social and institutional function of citizenisation and migratisation offers its readers a grasp of the array of racial inequalities that citizenisation produces and reproduces, while providing theoretical and empirical tools to address these inequalities.

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This book offers a conception of citizenship that is independent of any specific form of political organisation, while being compatible with multiple levels of political institutionalisation. Its de-contextualised account of citizenship differs from both cosmopolitan and nation-statist accounts. Using that conception, the book addresses topical and normative debates in one particular transnational political association: the European Union. Bringing political theory together with debates in international relations and in citizenship studies, the author argues that citizenship should be understood as an institutional role through which persons might exercise their political agency: their capacities to shape the contexts of their lives and promote the freedom and well-being of themselves and, importantly, fulfil their duties to others within and outside of the polity. The work draws on the rights-based philosophy of Alan Gewirth.

Empire and the question of belonging
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This is a book-length study of the ideological foundations of British imperialism in the early twentieth century. By focussing on the heretofore understudied concept of imperial citizenship, it illustrates how the political, cultural, and intellectual underpinnings of empire were constructed and challenged by forces in both Britain and the ‘Britains Overseas’, the settlement colonies of Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Debates about imperial citizenship reveal how Britons conceived of the empire: was it an extension of the nation-state, a collection of separate and distinct communities, or a type of ‘world-state?’ These debates were also about the place of empire in British society, its importance to the national identity, and the degree to which imperial subjects were or were not seen as ‘fellow Britons’. This public discourse was at its most fervent from the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) to the early 1920s, when Britain emerged victorious, shocked and exhausted from the Great War. Drawing on the thinking of imperial activists, publicists, ideologues and travellers such as Lionel Curtis, John Buchan, Arnold White, Richard Jebb and Thomas Sedgwick, the book is a comparative history of how the idea of imperial citizenship took hold in early-twentieth-century Britain and how it helped foster the articulation of a broader British World. It also reveals how imperial citizenship as a form of imperial identity was challenged by voices in both Britain and the empire, and how it influenced later imperial developments.

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Membership, privilege, and place
Lynn Dobson

1 Citizenship I: membership, privilege, and place Introduction Citizenship is an object of enquiry in many disciplines, though perhaps especially prominent in political theory and political science, law, and sociology. Until the early 1990s it appeared to be moribund as a field of study, but a resurgence of interest since then has spawned a now huge literature.1 As every book on citizenship sooner or later says, there are many conceptions and theories of citizenship, all contested to some degree, and some of which are more controversial than others. Across the

in Supranational Citizenship
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Status, identity, and role
Lynn Dobson

2 Citizenship II: status, identity, and role Cosmopolitanism and after Because the standard ‘nation-state’ accounts of citizenship are increasingly being found wanting, interest in the idea of global citizenship has, since the early 1990s, resurged. As Nussbaum reminds us, the essence of this idea is not new but revisits the ancient Stoic doctrine of cosmopolitanism – ‘cosmopolite’ meaning, precisely, a citizen of the world. In advocating cosmopolitanism as the remedy for narrowness of vision Nussbaum describes such a citizen as a person dwelling both in the

in Supranational Citizenship
Daniel Gorman

So the tribune came and said to him, ‘Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?’     And he said, ‘Yes.’ The tribune answered, ‘I bought this citizenship for a large sum.’     Paul said, ‘But I was born a citizen.’ So those who were about to examine

in Imperial citizenship
Zoltán Gábor Szűcs

not wholly depend on whether it is voluntary or not). To understand why this is so important, we need to turn to the theories of political obligation because they provide an interesting analog of the problem of citizenship (mostly because political obligation is a part of the office of citizens). Modern liberal theories of political obligation, for instance, took pains to prove

in Political ethics in illiberal regimes
Labour NGOs and the struggle for migrant workers’ rights

In twenty-first-century Chinese cities there are hundreds of millions of rural migrants who are living temporary lives, suspended between urban and rural China. They are the unsung heroes of the country’s ‘economic miracle’, yet are regarded as second-class citizens in both a cultural, material and legal sense. China’s citizenship challenge tells the story of how civic organisations set up by some of these rural migrants challenge this citizenship marginalisation. The book argues that in order to effectively address the problems faced by migrant workers, these NGOs must undertake ‘citizenship challenge’: the transformation of migrant workers’ social and political participation in public life, the broadening of their access to labour and other rights, and the reinvention of their relationship to the city. By framing the NGOs’ activism in terms of citizenship rather than class struggle, this book offers a valuable contribution to the field of labour movement studies in China. The monograph also proves exceptionally timely in the context of the state’s repression of these organisations in recent years, which, as the book explores, was largely driven by their citizenship-altering activism.

Colin Trodd

The first part of this article focuses on previously unstudied materials relating to the critical recuperation of William Blake in the period between c.1910 and 1930. It notes how commentators utilised ideas of citizenship and hospitality when they attempted to modernise Blake’s interests and concerns. It explains how these distinctive critical idioms were constructed, what they had in common and how they situated Blake in larger public arguments about the social significance of cultural creativity. The second part of the article traces the ramifications of this new way of thinking about Blake by noting his appearance in modernist and neo-romantic art criticism in the 1930s and 1940s.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
The Politics of History Teaching in England, 1870–1930
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Citizenship, Nation, Empire investigates the extent to which popular imperialism influenced the teaching of history between 1870 and 1930. It is the first book-length study to trace the substantial impact of educational psychology on the teaching of history, probing its impact on textbooks, literacy primers and teacher-training manuals. Educationists identified ‘enlightened patriotism’ to be the core objective of historical education. This was neither tub-thumping jingoism, nor state-prescribed national-identity teaching. Rather, enlightened patriotism was a concept used in the development of a carefully crafted curriculum for all children which fused civic intentions alongside imperial ambitions.

The book will be of interest to those studying or researching aspects of English domestic imperial culture, especially those concerned with questions of childhood and schooling, citizenship, educational publishing and anglo-British relations. Given that vitriolic debates about the politics of history teaching have endured into the twenty-first century, Citizenship, Nation, Empire is a timely study of the formative influences that shaped the history curriculum in English schools.