Review Essay. The Paradox of Citizenship: On Transnational Belonging, Documents, and Rights

by Sue-Je Lee Gage, Ithaca College

Recently, two friends shared the news that they had passed their US citizenship tests and were now dual citizens of their home country and the United States. The news reminded me of my Korean-born mother who took her citizenship test over forty years ago. She did not have the option of dual citizenship with her home country at that time. I recall her proudly displaying on top of the television set (when TVs were furniture) the tiny US flag she received as a token “proof” of her new identity as a citizen of the United States. The promises she made to become a citizen were 1) sole loyalty to the United States; 2) obedience to US laws; and 3) service to and defense of the United States. While the oath to become a naturalized citizen includes renouncing allegiance to “foreign princes” and governments, the US State Department no longer requires people to choose one nationality or another.

The evening my friends shared their news, I asked them what kinds of questions they were asked on the test. This turned into a little game that could be called “How much does a US citizen need to know?” While we laughed at my ignorance when I got an answer wrong, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services test would indeed be a challenge for most Americans who have their citizenship status by birthright. What does citizenship mean then? The very existence of the citizenship test reveals tensions between citizenship as a matter of birth and belonging to a native place, a chosen loyalty, or a gift of governmental power, unequally bestowed.

One question on the US citizenship test is, “Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?” This question tests knowledge about the establishment of the nation but also rationalizes settler colonialism by rendering indigenous peoples in North America as prior inhabitants, as if they were no longer present. Lisa Lowe (2018) refers to this “economy of affirmation and forgetting,” that “civilizes and develops freedoms for ‘man’ in modern Europe and North America, while relegating others to geographical and temporal spaces that are constituted as backward, uncivilized, and unfree” (Lowe 2018: 3). The social inequalities and human insecurities of our time are, in large part, a legacy of these processes of race imperialism.

In their recent review of anthropological approaches to citizenship, Adriana Petryna and Karolina Follis (2015) use the phrase “fault lines of survival” to capture the shifting experiential terrains of citizenship. The atrocities of World War II led to colossal and violent experiences of statelessness, spurring the United Nations to formulate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The events of September 11, 2001, shifted citizenship’s fragile fault lines again, through racialized and aggressive polices in the name of security. The non-citizen and “the migrant” are seen anew as figures that pose a triple threat: to the economy, the culture, and the security of a nation.

These problematics of belonging, exclusion, and security are inherent to contemporary citizenship, and are the subject of three recent books. These texts make significant and timely contributions to current citizenship scholarship. Peter J. Spiro’s At Home in Two Countries: The Past and Future of Dual Citizenship provides a legal and historical analysis of dual nationality. In Citizenship in Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness, edited by Benjamin N. Lawrence and Jacqueline Stevens, contributors from several disciplines challenge the assumption that citizenship is self-evident or is ever securely possessed. Identity and the Second Generation: How Children of Immigrants Find Their Space, edited by anthropologists Faith G. Nibbs and Caroline B. Brettell, features an array of anthropologists and their ethnographic research with second-generation immigrant youth.

The Paradoxes of the Nation, the Citizen, and Identity

Three primary themes emerge from these texts. The first common theme is the connection, difference, and divergence between national citizenships and universal human rights. Benedict Anderson, writing about nationalism, reminds us that it “has to be understood by aligning it, not with self-consciously held political ideologies, but with the large cultural systems that preceded it, out of which—as well as against which—it came into being” (Anderson 1983, 19). Nationalism and cultural belonging, as the foundations of citizenship, are themselves rooted in ideas, myths, and implicit understandings of territorialization, or the “national geographic” (Malkki 1992). National myths often intentionally exclude what (and who) preceded the founding of the nation and thus work to obscure violent histories and concrete denials of rights, such as the displacement of others. Citizenship is structured by the myth of national homogeneity and the myth of geographical boundedness (Greenhouse 2002; Comaroff and Comaroff 1999). Yet citizenship is not the same as territorial belonging. As a set of claims on rights, it is also contradictory, ambiguous, multiplicitous, and inextricably tied to powerful acts of deterritorialization. Historically, race and gender have determined who is a citizen and can participate in public life, and how fully.

A second theme of the books under review revolves around the relationship between legal citizenship and documents. How does one prove belonging? Why is proof of citizenship so often demanded? Why does it so often fail to work as a claim of belonging and rights? Citizenship is created, established and codified by a nation-state to determine who is and who is not a citizen and what kinds of proof is needed to access its benefits. Citizenship practices in the nation thus also include ideologies of documentation. The production and circulation of documents as proof, and the routine suspicion with which they are met by government officials entrusted with policing citizenship’s boundaries, together highlight “gendered and racialized practices capable of making and unmaking citizenship categories; and the recognition or delegitimation of the voices of the poor, migrants, disaster victims, patients, or welfare recipients” (Petryna and Follis 2015, 403). Indeed, the production of documents is crucial to citizenship. Many people are denied citizenship because they lack the paperwork to “certify” their existence; others may be marginalized or threatened because of the citizenship paperwork they do have. These general truths are lived by those Amerasians who were born in Korea but were ineligible for US citizenship because they did not have documentation of their American fathers, some of whom were GIs stationed in Korea since 1945 (Gage 2007). They are also borne out by the lives of some adult Korean adoptees who have been stripped of their US citizenship because their US adoptive families lacked or did not complete the proper forms; such individuals were and still are forcibly deported to South Korea, to a place where they do not speak the language or understand how to navigate Korean society. Jacques Derrida (1992) warns that citizens are mere textual creations, unevenly materialized by the force of law, thus making the deconstruction of the texts of citizenship and its literal forms a critical task.

The third theme concerns how national boundaries and citizenship are policed and securitized through the ongoing governmental processes of categorizing and policing “aliens,” processes that we see in our present politics, with the “Muslim ban,” family separations, and the “border wall.” How do those processes impact rights, human rights and identity for citizens and non-citizens alike? As Lisa Malkki has reminded us, it is important not to reduce citizenship to a singular identity or a binary status. “[I]dentity is always mobile and processual, partly self-construction, partly categorization by others, partly a condition, a status, a label, a weapon, a shield, a fund of memoires, et cetera” (Malkki 1992, 37). Recent immigrants, particularly non-white immigrants, endure xenophobia, racism, classism, and sexism as they form new identities in new places. As Carol Greenhouse argues, however, self-identity is intimately related to how people see themselves as citizens of a state. “The image of the self as citizen makes the state integral to the constitution of the person and draws the idea of legality directly into the personal subjective realm—as desire, pleasure, pride, pragmatism, fear, shame, and terror (among other possibilities) in a host of public and private settings” (Greenhouse 2002, 199). The three books under review here describe the ambiguities and paradoxes of state citizenship—its potential doubleness, its evidentiary demands, and its movement across generations—and how intimately intertwined citizenship and identity are as we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century.

The Paradoxes of Dual Citizenship

In his book At Home in Two Countries: The Past and Future of Dual Citizenship, legal scholar Peter J. Spiro lays out a history of dual citizenship. Spiro’s interest in dual citizenship stems from the moment in 2013 when he and his two children went to the German consulate in New York City to, as he puts it, “collect our German citizenship” (1). His children had never been to Germany and didn’t speak a word of German, but both Spiro and his children became eligible for German citizenship under a new legal regime meant to return citizenship to those stripped of it by the Nazis. In fact, Spiro and his children were born in the United States. Their eligibility for Germany citizenship came through Spiro’s father, a German Jew who fled his hometown of Hamburg in 1939, and lost his German citizenship in 1941 after the Eleventh Decree of the German Reich stripped German Jews of not only their citizenship but also human civil protection and rights.

The book chronicles political and legal shifts, primarily in the United States and Europe. Spiro begins with the fact that during the medieval era, legal identities were aligned with personal allegiances under the umbrella of “natural law” or “unwritten, fundamental law” (31). In the late Middle Ages many European states extended birthright citizenship on a territorial basis, and citizens could claim rights based on jus soli, or right of the soil. Calvin’s Case, an English judicial decision of 1608, is the earliest and most influential definition of personal status as connected to place of birth. This principle of jus soli was adopted in Britain’s colonial territories as well, including eventually the United States (Polly 1997). As is well known, however, jus soli was applied in a racialized way, and the newly established nation excluded indigenous North Americans and later others with a claim to birthright from citizenship.

Thus, the status of US citizenship has long been complicated by other statuses and legal claims, and haunted by the specter of dual nationality. In its first session in 1790, the US Congress enacted a measure extending citizenship to children born abroad to US-citizen fathers, so long as the father had resided at some point in the United States (this legal history is recounted in the Supreme Court decision United States v. Wong Kim Ark 169 US 649 (1898)). Some descendants of such fathers were, however, made to prove their right to citizenship more than others, especially when questions of loyalty and whiteness were allowed to cloud the issue. Further, since 1795 the US citizenship oath has required one to “renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty.” These early enactments around multiple potential citizenships were concerned with questions of allegiance and the possibility of dual citizens taking up arms against this country. Indeed, dual nationality was seen as a threat throughout the Western world. As Spiro explains, Western states “attacked dual nationality with two weapons: First, loss of nationality was the price of naturalization in the foreign state . . . Second, those born with dual nationality would have to choose between the two or have the choice made for them through a required ‘election’” (23).

While Spiro only touches on issues of gender, women’s claims on citizenship were even more fraught. In the nineteenth century, any American woman who married a foreigner was stripped of her citizenship, becoming a citizen of her husband’s country. In 1922, the Cable Act partially changed that practice—only to introduce a new distinction on the basis of race. Women in such marriages could then regain their citizenship, but only if married to an “alien eligible for citizenship,” which excluded most non-whites (Gardner 2005).

By the end of the twentieth century, Spiro shows, dual nationality became more accepted. In 1978, Congress eliminated residency requirements, allowing those born with US citizenship outside the United States to retain it for a lifetime, “without ever setting foot in the United States.” The State Department gave up the fight against dual citizenship, in effect, with a 1995 opinion concluding that ‘[i]t is no longer possible to terminate an American’s citizenship without the citizen’s cooperation” (68).

Dual citizenship has been accepted as an international fact but also understood to be an international problem, Spiro writes. Myths of the dual-citizen as a security threat are consistently exaggerated in political discourse, he says, and it can be a direct benefit to countries with large emigrant populations. Thus, like Italy, Israel, and Ireland, Mexico accepted dual citizenship with the United States in 1998. Yet, dual citizenship can also be problematic, and opens the door to potentially less desirable pluralities of citizenship: investor citizenship, for instance, in which wealthy individuals pay for citizenship, or so-called Olympic citizenship, the flexibility of citizenship rules for Olympic competitors.

Spiro ultimately argues that dual citizenship makes sense from a policy perspective and that it is good for America. Dual citizens are more likely than non-citizens to do the bidding of their home country governments, they facilitate integration, and they strengthen the relations between states and the bonds felt among citizens. In this well-researched legal history of dual citizenship in the US, Spiro argues that citizenship, like other forms of membership, is never fully fleshed out because it cannot be, illuminating the most foundational paradox of citizenship as a legal apparatus.

Citizenship and Statelessness

Lawrence and Stevens’ Citizenship in Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness includes contributors from a range of disciplines: anthropology, history, human rights, law, policy analysis, public health, and political science. The book is dedicated to Johann “Ace” Francis, a Jamaican-born US citizen who was wrongfully deported to Jamaica for ten years because he could not show “proof” of his citizenship. These powerful essays, together, show how oppressive systems operate under the guise of citizenship and universal human rights alike. Both serve as policing mechanisms, and the apparatuses of rights also become vehicles for creating statelessness and marginalization. This book is the only of the three in this review that examines the issues and experiences of statelessness and its intersections with race and gender. The contributing authors show through numerous examples how citizenship is not self-evident, nor can it be inferred from documents alone, which is another fundamental paradox to citizenship. How does a person prove that one is a citizen? The volume reveals that is it not necessarily the “proof” you have or do not have, it is what is acknowledged as “proof,” subjectively determined yet heavily policed that determines who one is and who one is not within a given legal framework. The essays in the volume examine the uncertainties of legal recognition and the political, psychological, and personal meanings of citizenship to challenge the assumption that it is the sort of self-evident characteristic that one either has or lacks.

An Afterward by Daniel Kanstroom illuminates this book’s inspiration in Hannah Arendt’s work, grounding the contributors’ effort “to examine the character of citizenship rights today amid the conundrum caused by citizenship’s elusiveness of proof” (243). Kanstroom reminds us that Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1966[1951]), through a historical analysis of imperial rule and statelessness, emphasized that human rights are not meaningful or enforceable when separated from citizenship rights. She described the experiences of statelessness as an estrangement from community, of unbelonging. Kanstroom writes that for stateless peoples, “it is not that they are not equal before the law, but that no law exists for them without meaningful legal personhood” (295-296). This Afterword explains why Arendt is still relevant for us to consider today. “Arendt’s position was not that citizenship should be the right to have rights. Rather, as she put it: ‘The Rights of Man, supposedly inalienable, proved to be unenforceable…whenever people appeared who were no longer citizens of any sovereign state’” (244, quoting Arendt 1966: 293). Indeed, the editors write in their Introduction that state citizenship has become so central to who we are that we come to believe we are “ontologically as the government interpellates us at birth. Our citizenship rules convey who we are as if we were born this way, and this hypothetical and ever-changing condition materializes us into these actual state facts” (7). As the collection shows across all its three parts, citizenship and human rights in and of themselves are not enough to guarantee rights and that human security cannot be predictably guaranteed by law or by states.

Part One introduces the effects, in real lives, of various demarcations between citizens and aliens, and the uneven impact of different legal regimes of citizenship. In jus soli (“right of the soil,” or birthplace citizenship) regimes, proof of birth in a particular territory will suffice to establish citizenship. In jus sanguinis (“right of blood,” or citizenship through descent) regimes, more is required. In case history after case history, the authors in this volume spell out instances when even a birth record or proof of descent does not suffice to establish citizenship. Polly J. Price examines the limitations of the international legal term “statelessness,” showing that people who are entitled to citizenship but cannot prove it do not—in a terrible irony—qualify for protection as legally stateless. Effective statelessness occurs when a country fails to recognize the people who live in it. The Dominican Republic, for example, changed its citizenship laws from jus soli to jus sanguinis. The change rendered stateless an estimated 200,000 people living there who were of Haitian descent (31). Further, labor migration poses a major challenge to citizenship regimes because migrants often lack documents about both their parentage and ancestry and their places of birth. Jacqueline Bhabha’s chapter discusses such problems of citizenship by recounting the experiences of the European Romani. Benjamin N. Lawrence’s chapter, similarly, presents the stories of four individuals who entered the UK as asylum seekers, were asked for evidence of prior citizenship, and were unable to provide it. Lawrence asks if evidentiary requirements are even rational, let alone possible, in climates that are suspicious and hostile to migration. In terms of actual, lived experience, the problem seems obvious: Stateless individuals outside their countries of origin have a difficult enough time maintaining possession of their limited documentation, let alone acquiring new documents, and few have resources to seek out legal counsel or experts. As anthropologist Sara Friedman reiterates in her chapter on border crossing in Taiwan, “documents do not afford legal recognition or sovereign claim so much as they reproduce the uncertain status of contested borders and the individuals who journey across them” (81).

Part Two of the book describes the nitty-gritty determinations made by the bureaucrats who enforce citizenship regimes. Many chapters focus on the judgments made by these administrators that render citizenship claims ineffective: their findings often rely on subjective, non-written criteria that are institutionally and systematically racist and sexist. For instance, the chapter by Rachel Rosenbloom discusses babies delivered by midwives to non-US citizens in Texas and Arizona, along the US-Mexico border. These children are consistently denied citizenship and passport applications because of lack of evidentiary proof and accusations of fraud. Amanda Flaim explains how highlanders in Thailand—hill tribes such as the Lua, Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Akha, Khamu and Lisu—were not part of the national narrative in Thailand and lacked proof of citizenship when they migrated away. According to these authors, nations in the Global South often handle citizenship very differently than do countries in the North and West, which further complicates the problems of refugee migration. In this regard, the authors draw attention to another principle of citizenship: jus charta or tabulae, rights conferred through the state artifact that creates citizenship. So, while place and parentage confer belonging in some sense of the word, citizenship is not self-evident or inferred from these alone. Documents are often required, and these are more easily obtained by some people than others.

Part Three of the book focuses on how electoral politics and political campaigning throw citizenship into the spotlight, often by labeling a portion of a population as aliens for the purpose of political advantage. In the chapter by anthropologist Alfred Babo on citizenship in Côte d’Ivoire, the reader is introduced to a presidential campaign in which questions about the authenticity of one of the candidate’s Ivorian citizenship led to legislative acts that cemented prejudices against “fake Ivorians.” Laws that defined who was “Ivorian” were part of the colonial structures retained after independence in 1961. These laws stipulated that nationality was conferred on anyone born in the Ivory Coast except when both parents were foreigners. The recent political elaboration of a distinction between “fake” and “pure-blooded” Ivorians led, not surprisingly, to violence against those with ancestors from Burkina Faso or Mali.

After reading the many cases in this volume, the reader gets the sense that governments throughout the world tell familiar tales of natives and foreigners, loyal citizens and threatening aliens, the documented and undocumented. The United States is part of this history, too. During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the internment of Japanese Americans, effectively stripping them of their citizenship and civil rights. President Trump’s threats to re-interpret the Fourteenth Amendment to withdraw birthright citizenship from some children of (recent) immigrants are similarly based on a violent economy of forgetting. States make and remake the laws, to prove their power to define citizenship. Such laws are often laced with violence in their crafting and are always enforced with some measure of violence, which calls into question the very possibility of justice through law (Derrida 1992). It is not surprising that citizenship is a topic full of contradiction, paradox, and often outright tragedy. Yet, as Greenhouse (2002) reminds us, the intimate tie between citizenship and our identities today cannot be disregarded.

The Quest for Citizenship: Identity and Self-Making

This is a point amply demonstrated by the ethnographic case-studies in Citizenship and the Second-Generation: How Children of Immigrants Find Their Space, edited by Faith G. Nibbs and Caroline B. Brettell. The nine chapters discuss the “lived hybridity and transnational habitus” (206) and the “barriers and/or bridges to belonging” (4) among second-generation youth in a variety of national contexts, including the US, Italy, Canada, France, and Ireland. This book is inspired by Homi Bhabha’s elaboration of a “third space” of hybridity, “a site where new signs of identity and innovative forms of collaboration and contestation can be initiated” (1). The anthropologists featured in this volume utilize participant-observation, interviews, and case-studies to explore the variability and consistency of the quest for belonging among second-generation children of immigrants. The editors observe that by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century there were close to seventeen million children of immigrants in the United States, defined as children under eighteen years of age living with one foreign-born parent, or nearly one-fourth of all children. In Germany one-third of children and in France one-fifth are children of immigrants.

Many chapters emphasize the agency of the children of immigrants in shaping their own identities and sense of belonging. For example, Josiane Le Gall and Ana Gherghel’s chapter looks at how transnationalism lasts beyond the first generation for Azorean Portuguese migrants in Quebec. They show how the generations transform connections to home over time, creating different relationships and emotional attachments to their own and then their parents’ or grandparents’ country of origin. Erin Moran looks at the predicament of migrant children who sought and failed to find asylum in Ireland, in particular a Nigerian youth named Olunkunle Eluhanla who came to Ireland as an unaccompanied youth but was denied asylum just months before earning his high school diploma. Held in custody for three years while in high school, he was then deported to Nigeria. Although his teachers and fellow students demanded that Eluhanla be allowed to take his high school exit exam, the Irish authorities would not allow it. This case and others shed light on the ambivalent status of 1.5-generation children, those born abroad who nevertheless find themselves subject to the new state and its citizenship regimes and even seek to assimilate as children. As Moran observes, a modern nation-state’s competing interests in citizenship and childhood can have an impact on young migrants in unexpected ways, creating tension and even moral paradoxes. In Ireland, unaccompanied youth become wards of the state, and a representative of the government decides whether or not to submit an asylum application on behalf of the child. The government may choose to deport a youth anytime but does not usually do this until they reach the age of eighteen. As other anthropologists have noted, European immigrant regimes often treat migrant youth as immigrants first, children second. Changes in public opinion may alter these priorities. Still, Ireland changed its citizenship laws in 2004 from birthright citizenship (accorded automatically by being born in the country) to a variation of parental descent: at least one parent of a child must be an Irish citizen for a child born in Ireland to be considered a citizen.

While faced with rules that define their identities according to birthplace and parentage, second-generation immigrant youth also negotiate their new homelands as individuals who are part of kinship and friendship networks of their own making. Governments may tell them whether they belong to society as a whole, but the issues of belonging play out in their personal lives in complex and various ways. The anthropologists whose work is collected in this volume chronicle how these young people create identities by forging kinship and friendships, and by relying on the Internet and social media to overcome feelings of isolation. How they work to retain their parents’ languages and remain faithful to their parents’ cultures while going to school and watching television and playing with non-immigrant children is indeed a rich topic for study.

This book argues that it is no longer adequate to see second-generation immigrants as caught between two worlds. Second-generation immigrant youth create their own identities and sustain relationships with the home country in their own ways. There is no single path of identity formation. The stories of such youth show that all identities are fluid and multifaceted in transnational space, as they sustain multiplex senses of belonging through multigenerational kinship networks, intergenerational cultural transmission, and emotional attachments to ancestral homelands. The successful cases of management of multiple identities described here debunk simplistic explanations of how assimilation happens, and reinforce the pertinence of what Homi Bhabha (1996) refers to as hybridity: a form of liminal or in-between space where translation and negotiation can occur to create a “third space.” This third space is where other subject positions can emerge beyond singular citizenship and loyalty. The volume ends with a call for further research on the lives and experiences of second generation youth.


These three texts present the paradoxes of citizenship, its risks, its fault lines and limitations, as well as its intimate link to identity and belonging. Does citizenship afford people the right to have rights? The answer to this question is complex and unanswerable because citizenship is not static or stable. These three texts also shed light on the ideologies of citizenship and the direct impact that beliefs, laws, and policies about it have on people’s lives. All three books reveal the desire for belonging and for security and recognition within a political community and across transnational relationships. They also speak to the critical importance of interdisciplinary examinations of citizenship at multiple levels.

These texts contribute to timely political discussions of citizenship and identity in several ways. They suggest that citizenship is highly complex because it is so integrally linked to both personal identity and the state, and the deep histories and political vicissitudes on which each are built. In spite of legal constructions of a binary choice between those who are and are not citizens of a state, these texts show the various fault lines of citizenship and the laws created to hide—and sometimes exploit—those fault lines. These findings have significant implications for future scholarly analysis of race, gender, migration, as well as for politics, policies, and practices. As Elizabeth Cohen reminds us, citizenship is both “essential and essentially contested,” and we must always consider “who and what has the authority to define citizenship, and what kinds of content … citizenship confer[s]” (Cohen 2009, 16). The analyses and narratives in these books offer potential for social change and reveal a “third space” for the negotiation of citizenship otherwise, in Homi Bhabha’s terms. Finally, these texts expose the depths of the “economy of affirmation and forgetting” (Lowe 2018, 3) on which citizenship is based. They show us what citizenship looks and feels like for people on the margins of state regimes of citizenship. In the end, we are left with several tasks: first, to understand how the terms of citizenship status and its intersections are configured in today’s human and institutional landscapes; second, to deconstruct these terms and reveal their complicities with violence and exclusion; and last but not least, we are left simply with the urgent need to act.

Reviewed in this Essay

At Home in Two Countries: The Past and Future of Dual Citizenship,Peter J. Spiro (New York: New York University Press, 2016)

Citizenship in Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness,Benjamin N. Lawrence and Jacqueline Stevens, editors (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017)

Identity and the Second Generation: How Children of Immigrants Find Their Space,Faith G. Nibbs and Caroline B. Brettell, editors (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2016)

References Cited

Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

Arendt, Hannah. 1951 [1966]. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc.

Bhabha, Homi. 1996. “Cultures in Between.” In Questions of Cultural Identity. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay, eds. Pp. 53-60. London: Sage.

Cohen, Elizabeth. 2009. Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Comaroff, Jean and John Comaroff. 1999. “Occult Economies and the Violence of Abstraction: Notes from the South African Postcolony.” American Ethnologist 26(2): 279-303.

Derrida, Jacques. 1992. “Force of Law: The Mystical Foundation of Authority.” In Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice. Drucilla Cornell, Michael Rosenfield and David G. Carlson, eds. Pp. 3-67. New York: Routledge.

Gage, Sue-Je L. 2007. “The Amerasian Problem: Blood, Duty and Race.” International Relations 21(1): 86-102.

Gardener, Martha. 2005. The Qualities of a Citizen: Women, Immigration, and Citizenship, 1870-1965. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Greenhouse, Carol J. 2002. “Citizenship, Agency and the Dream of Time.” In Looking Back at Law’s Century. Austin Sarat, Bryant G. Garth and Robert A. Kagan, eds. Pp. 184-209. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Lowe, Lisa. 2015. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Malkki, Liisa. 2015. “National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity among Scholars and Refugees.” Cultural Anthropology 7(1): 24-44.

Petryna, Adriana and Karolina Follis. 2015. “Risks of Citizenship and Fault Lines of Survival.” Annual Review of Anthropology 44: 401-417.

Price, Polly. 1997. “Natural Law and Birthright Citizenship in Calvin’s Case (1608).” Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 9(1): 73-145.

About Leo Coleman

Leo Coleman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College, City University of New York, and the book review editor for the Political and Legal Anthropology Review. He is the author of A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi (Cornell UP, 2017), and has written about infrastructure, modernist anthropology, urban politics, and architecture in journals including American Ethnologist, Anthropological Quarterly, and Comparative Studies in Society and History.

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