The citizen and the other: New directions in research on the migration and citizenship nexus

Jenny Barrett, Nando Sigona

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Recent scholarship points to three emerging lines of research on the migration and citizenship nexus. The first unsettles assumptions of citizenship’s internal homogeneity by identifying internal lines of exclusion (Balibar 2004; Anderson 2013). This goes beyond a binary between citizenship’s inclusionary promise and constitutive exclusions to explore what Linda Bosniak (2006) has characterized as its ‘soft inside’. The second line of research maps spaces and practices of membership that incorporate different regimes of rights (Redclift 2013a, 2013b; Rygiel 2011; Sigona 2015) and relationships to the state (Coutin 2000; Düvell 2008; Kubal 2012). These challenge theorizations of rule and exception (cf. Agamben 1998) and the representation of subjects produced within these conditions. In doing so, this research contributes a groundswell of literature critiquing the depiction of migrant subjects as depolicitized and agency-less social actors (cf. Bloch, Sigona and Zetter 2014; Isin and Neilson 2008; Nyers and Rygiel 2012; Rancière 2010; Redclift 2013b; Sigona 2012). Thirdly, scholars have just begun to test concepts and analytical frameworks developed within/for Western liberal democracies in contexts with different political traditions (Reeves 2013; Vora 2013) and genealogies of citizenship (Ong 2006; Somers 2008). As we will discuss at the end of this review essay, some of these themes are echoed and further developed in the books under review. These research agendas build upon discussion of citizenship as both a legal and a social institution with multiple dimensions that can be conferred or claimed in partial and asymmetric ways. Migration scholarship has shown that the identities, rights and practices associated with being a citizen can be at odds with formal citizenship status, and that the entitlements conferred by citizenship can be obtained through claims to membership that supersede the nation state (cf. Sassen 2002 …
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration Studies
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameMigration Studies


  • Balibar
  • Bosniak
  • Exclusion
  • Inclusion
  • agency
  • genealogies of citizenship
  • legal citizenship
  • liberalism
  • literature review
  • membership
  • regime of rights
  • review
  • rights
  • social citizenship
  • subject production


Dive into the research topics of 'The citizen and the other: New directions in research on the migration and citizenship nexus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this