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Issues in Legal Scholarship

Editor-in-Chief: Singh, Charanjit

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The Dark Side of Citizenship: Membership, Territory, and the (Anti-) Democratic Polity

Clarissa Rile Hayward1

1Washington University in St. Louis,

Citation Information: Issues in Legal Scholarship. Volume 9, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1539-8323, DOI: 10.2202/1539-8323.1125, October 2011

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Linda Bosniak’s The Citizen and the Alien and Ayelet Shachar’s The Birthright Lottery are important and provocative new works, each of which draws attention to the exclusions and inequalities bound up in practices of democratic citizenship. In my response, I argue that although each author articulates a powerful critique of the institution of citizenship, neither goes far enough in the political changes she proposes. Because power relations cross the boundaries that define territorially bounded political communities, neither extending nor redistributing the benefits attached to membership in those communities is enough. Democrats must find institutional means to define and secure rights, not according to citizenship understood as political membership, but according to participation in relations of power.

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