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Statelessness And Citizenship

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Statelessness And Citizenship

A Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality

Brad K. Blitz , Maureen Lynch

Edited by Brad K. Blitz, Professor of International Politics and Deputy Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University, UK and Senior Fellow, Global Migration Centre, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland and Maureen Lynch, Washington-based Affiliate, International Observatory on Statelessness

2011 272 pp Hardback 978 1 84980 067 9
2012 Paperback 978 1 78195 215 3
ebook isbn 978 1 84980 899 6

Hardback £81.00 on-line price £72.90

Paperback £27.00 on-line price £21.60


Available as an eBook for subscribing libraries on Elgaronline.

For individuals at paper price on Google ebooks and

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‘Embracing a subject that is generally treated abstractly, as a matter of human rights law, the authors of this pathbreaking book root statelessness deep into historical context and lived experience. They emerge with conclusions that are both dismaying (the expansive scope of the problem) and hopeful (the measurable progress some states have made in expanding the boundaries of citizenship). Alas, this eloquent book could hardly be more timely.’
– Linda K. Kerber, University of Iowa, US

Contributors: R. Ablyatifov, B.K. Blitz, G. Constantine, J.A. Goldston, J. Harrington Reddy, M. Lynch, A. Shiblak, A.K. Sing’Oei, P.P. Sivapragasam, K. Southwick, L. van Waas, R. Vetik, J. Zorn

Further information

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are more than 12 million stateless people in the world. The existence of stateless populations challenges some central tenets of international law and contemporary human rights discourses, yet only a very small number of states have made measurable progress in helping individuals acquire or regain citizenship. This fascinating study examines positive developments in eight countries and pinpoints the benefits of citizenship now enjoyed by formerly stateless persons.

The expert contributors present an original comparative study that draws upon legal and political analysis as well as empirical research (incorporating over 120 interviews conducted in eight countries), and features the documentary photography of Greg Constantine. The benefits of citizenship over statelessness are identified at both community and individual level, and include the fundamental right to enjoy a nationality, to obtain identification documents, to be represented politically, to access the formal labor market and to move about freely. Gaining or reacquiring citizenship helps eliminate isolation and solicits the empowerment of individuals, collectively and personally. Such changes are of considerable importance to the advancement of a human rights regime based on dignity and respect.

This highly original and thought-provoking book will strongly appeal to a wide-ranging audience including academics, researchers, students, human rights activists and government officials with an interest in a diverse range of fields encompassing law, international studies, public policy, human rights and citizenship.

Full table of contents


1. Statelessness and the Deprivation of Nationality
Brad K. Blitz and Maureen Lynch

2. Nationality and Rights
Laura van Waas

3. Citizenship in Kenya: The Nubian Case
Abraham Korir Sing’Oei

4. From Erased and Excluded to Active Participants in Slovenia
Jelka Zorn

5. From Statelessness to Citizenship: Up-country Tamils in Sri Lanka
P.P. Sivapragasam

6. Citizenship Reform and Challenges for the Crimean Tatars in Ukraine
Rustem Ablyatifov

7. The Urdu-speakers of Bangladesh: An Unfinished Story of Enforcing Citizenship Rights
Katherine Southwick

8. Mauritania: Citizenship Lost and Found
Julia Harrington Reddy

9. Statelessness, Citizenship and Belonging in Estonia
Raivo Vetik

10. Arabia’s Bidoon
Abbas Shiblak

11. Summary and Conclusions
Maureen Lynch and Brad K. Blitz

12. Epilogue
James A. Goldston



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