Citizenship in Movement: The Mobility of Experiences of Membership between the Global South and Global North

Co-Directors: Emmanuel Guerisoli, PhD Candidate Sociology, & Patrick Ciaschi, PhD Student Politics.

Members: Alexandra Delano (Assistant Professor Global Studies), Miriam Ticktin (Associate Professor Anthropology), Andrew Arato (Professor Sociology), Andreas Kalyvas (Associate Professor Politics), Carlos Forment (Associate Professor Sociology), Anne McNevin (Associate Professor Politics), Benoit Challand (Associate Professor Sociology), Patrick Ciaschi (PhD Student Politics), Anna Matthiesen (PhD Candidate Sociology), Emmanuel Guerisoli (PhD Candidate Sociology)

The aim of this group is to analyze how the concept of citizenship takes on a multiplicity of forms depending on the assemblages of socio-political institutions, economic practices, and legal devices that govern visibility, membership, and inclusion within different types of communities and polities. Particularly, the group will study the contradictory effects that modern institutionalized democracies, neoliberal market oriented societies, and western constitutional arrangements have on republican, liberal, and multicultural conceptions of citizenship. The focus of this group will be the reciprocal/dialectical movement of people, practices, ideas, technologies and “know how”, and norms between the global south and the global north. We will study “new experiences” of membership and belonging that have been developing across the multiple topographies of the global south and how they have been transformed into a new kind of mobility paradigm that permeate the borders of the north. Subsequently, we will be trying to understand and analyze how this migratory pattern from “the south” has led to a critical transformation of citizenship status, customs, and rights in “the north”. The group will primarily emphasize the study of these phenomena in the regions of North America, Latin America, Western and Central-Eastern Europe. Lastly, the group will study particular cases through different methodologies, such as ethnography, interviewing, historical comparative, and discourse and legal analysis, in order to most appropriately link theory to empirical research. A component of this group will be the debate and experimentation regarding method and data selection pivotal for fieldwork and research design.

This will be an interdisciplinary project, comprised of faculty and students from the Anthropology, Politics, and Sociology Departments at NSSR and Global Studies at NSPE. This endeavor originated from looking at specific developments problematized in current understandings of citizenship. Influenced by Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and the Comaroffs’ Theory from the South, many of the participants are exploring certain experiences seemingly limited to the global south or post-colonial world are increasingly revealed also in the “developed north”. These new processes of inclusion and forms of belonging migrated from the south to the north; disputing market economies, modern democracies, and liberal constitutionalism south to north. Another focus are the new modalities and practices of citizenship in the third world which emerged following the introduction, and imposition by the first world of neoliberal socio-economic policies, liberal democratic institutions, and western constitutional frameworks. These new experiences unveil the tensions, contradictions, and limits of liberal, republican, and multicultural understandings of citizenship north to south.

This group will be a combination of the research cluster and intellectual development types. As a research cluster, the members will meet between three to four times during both semesters to present their current research. These include the movement of Roma refugees from democratic EU member states and their exclusion from multicultural societies; the migration of Bolivians and Peruvians to Argentina and the subsequent emergence of scavenging, informal popular markets and sweatshops as a type of neoliberal citizenship with claims that challenge human rights’ discourses; the inculcation of philanthropic citizenship in Serbia; the securitization of Immigration and Borders institutions and their role in the detention and deportation of irregular migrants from the United States and Europe; the stratification of American citizenship during the War on Terror and its impact on different migrant populations; the movement of legal and normative arrangement from Latin America and South Africa towards a “multicultural Europe”; among others. The goal of this workshop will be to present and discuss our work in order to compare the different research designs, methodologies, and data used to carry on our projects.

As an intellectual development group, we plan to organize three types of activities. First, meet twice a semester to discuss certain works that are designed to function as theoretical framework. We will discuss Jean and John Comaroffs’ Theory from the South, Anthony Anghie’s Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law, Anne McNevin’s Contesting Citizenship: Irregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Political, and Peter Geschiere’s The Perils of Belonging: Autochthony, Citizenship, and Exclusion in Africa and Europe. Secondly, we will invite four speakers to give lectures open to all the University. They will be coordinated and supported by the Departments at NSSR. We are inviting Linda Bosniak (co-sponsored with the Sociology Department), Gary Wilder (co-sponsored with the Sociology Department), Mahmood Mamdani (co-sponsored with the Sociology Department), Elizabeth Cohen (co-sponsored with the Sociology Department), and Karuna Mantena (co-sponsored with the Politics Department).

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