Multiple Nationality and the (Ab)Use of Citizenship: Identity Opportunity and Risk

In: The Citizen in the 21st Century
Anna Tsalapatanis
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The very end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st have brought about several marked changes to citizenship policy and practice. Not only are we witnessing increasing instances of de facto and de jure dual citizenship, with around half of all sovereign states accepting it in one form or another, but also the institutionalisation of European Union Citizenship has heralded the addition of another level of analysis, as well as a change in value of the citizenship of its member states. Similarly, the creation of new forms of ‘partial’ or ‘light’ citizenship such as the Turkish Pink Card and the Indian Non-Resident Indian scheme highlight the introduction of other (sub-citizenship) categories. The increasing number and complexity of these ‘citizenship constellations’ generate a pressing need to comprehend the way that individuals and groups understand and use their citizenship(s). Given the multiplicity of factors behind these decisions, and the ways that citizenship is enacted differently in different locations and situations, this is an increasingly difficult task. This chapter explores three possible factors that affect citizenship decisions: identity, opportunity and risk. These are illustrated both practically, using a series of recent examples; as well as theoretically, through the works of scholars such as Ghassan Hage and Aihwa Ong.

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