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Citizenship, nationality and belonging

In a world of increasing mobility and global connections, citizenship continues to be one of the most important political issues of our time. From classical theories to contemporary lived experiences, the boundaries between citizens and non-citizens have shifted, constituting new spaces, new politics, and new ways of understanding the fabric of society. The meaning of citizenship is fast evolving and its political importance has never been greater. 

In this issue, we look at the politics of becoming a citizen or staying a foreigner; and the ways of crafting and navigating the ties of belonging to a diaspora, a migrant community, and a receiving society. We also examine two new policies that raise many critical voices: laws enabling the revocation of citizenship, and programmes that sell citizenship to investors. This issue offers an insight into two particular settings where the dynamics of belonging are rearranged and reshuffled: an aircraft cabin, and a small town in the Basque mountains. We delve into citizenship regimes in Turkey, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, and their implications for naturalisation policies and access to rights and economic benefits. In every context, citizenship, legal status and belonging are disputed arenas, where governments, nationals and residents do not always see eye to eye.

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‘They are too many to naturalise’: How citizenship debates politicise Syrians


Emotions in transit: Contemplating belonging in the aeroplane


Investor citizenship and the public charge rule: What do they mean for Americans?


Locating citizenship: Pakistani immigrants in Oñati, Basque Country


Citizenship in the United Arab Emirates: A spectrum of categories


Kurdish diaspora politics in Birmingham


A short film: The Classroom as an  analogy of a fearful society

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