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The Citizen and the Alien:
Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership
Linda Bosniak

Paperback | 2008 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691138282
248 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400827510 |
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Citizenship presents two faces. Within a political community it stands for inclusion and universalism, but to outsiders, citizenship means exclusion. Because these aspects of citizenship appear spatially and jurisdictionally separate, they are usually regarded as complementary. In fact, the inclusionary and exclusionary dimensions of citizenship dramatically collide within the territory of the nation-state, creating multiple contradictions when it comes to the class of people the law calls aliens--transnational migrants with a status short of full citizenship. Examining alienage and alienage law in all of its complexities, The Citizen and the Alien explores the dilemmas of inclusion and exclusion inherent in the practices and institutions of citizenship in liberal democratic societies, especially the United States. In doing so, it offers an important new perspective on the changing meaning of citizenship in a world of highly porous borders and increasing transmigration.

As a particular form of noncitizenship, alienage represents a powerful lens through which to examine the meaning of citizenship itself, argues Linda Bosniak. She uses alienage to examine the promises and limits of the "equal citizenship" ideal that animates many constitutional democracies. In the process, she shows how core features of globalization serve to shape the structure of legal and social relationships at the very heart of national societies.


"The Citizen and the Alien represents a crucial contribution to an intensifying but theoretically ungrounded debate on the sustainability of currently defined democratic principles in an era of extensive transnational migration."--Markéta Ruliková, Central European Journal of International and Security Studies


"Linda Bosniak is one of the leading scholars on citizenship and alienage in the U.S. In this brilliant book she deploys her mastery of the subject in a manner that creates conceptual openings in the discourse on immigration. This allows her to discuss immigration in ways that also illuminate citizenship and personhood."--Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights

"As the relationship between national territory, regional identity, and global jurisdiction becomes increasingly complex, questions of citizenship become more pressing: What forms of belonging and exclusion emerge on the transnational landscape? How do we conceive of the rights of aliens in a global polity inhabited by, and indebted to, guest workers, migrants, and the undocumented? Linda Bosniak's outstanding book rises to this challenging situation with remarkable clarity and extends her inventive legal perspective to provide insightful reflections on cultural and ethical issues."--Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University

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Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments xi
CHAPTER 1: Divided Citizenships 1
CHAPTER 2: Defining Citizenship: Substance, Locations, and Subjects 17
CHAPTER 3: The Difference That Alienage Makes 37
CHAPTER 4: Constitutional Citizenship through the Prism of Alienage 77
CHAPTER 5: Borders, Domestic Work, and the Ambiguities of Citizenship 102
CHAPTER 6: Separate Spheres Citizenship and Its Conundrums 122
Notes 141
Index 215

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