Introduction. Forced migration and the limits of citizenship



Barclay F (2022) Introduction. Forced migration and the limits of citizenship. Journal of Migration History, 8 (3), p. 331–346.

This article is the introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Migration History entitled 'Forced Migration and the Limits of Citizenship'. It argues that the qualities associated with citizenship were put under increased pressure by the dissolution of states that followed wars and collapse of empires in the mid-twentieth century. The reconfigured states faced the challenge of redefining their national identity and, consequently, their relationship with the constituent populations. Displacements, both internal and across redrawn borders, were a frequent occurrence. The introduction argues that the experiences of what Arendt terms 'national minorities' demonstrate the inconsistencies in the protection offered to citizens whose ethnicity or race differed from the state's imagined ideal citizen. Structured in two parts, the special issue examines firstly the response of states and finds that they wield citizenship law as a means of shaping and regulating their national identity. Secondly, it examines the implications of displacement for citizens, their new cultural distinctiveness, and sense of belonging that contribute to constructions of citizenship.

citizenship; forced migration; colonialism; displacement; cultural identity; belonging

Journal of Migration History: Volume 8, Issue 3

FundersAHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online10/10/2022
Date accepted by journal12/09/2022

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Dr Fiona Barclay

Dr Fiona Barclay

Senior Lecturer, French

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