Beyond Citizenship
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Beyond Citizenship : American Identity After Globalization

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Description

American identity has always been capacious as a concept but narrow in its application. Citizenship has mostly been about being here, either through birth or residence. The territorial premises for citizenship have worked to resolve the peculiar challenges of American identity. But globalization is detaching identity from location. What used to define American was rooted in American space. Now one can be anywhere and be an American, politically or culturally. Against that backdrop, it becomes difficult to draw the boundaries of human community in a meaningful way. Longstanding notions of democratic citizenship are becoming obsolete, even as we cling to them. Beyond Citizenship charts the trajectory of American citizenship and shows how American identity is unsustainable in the face of globalization. Peter J. Spiro describes how citizenship law once reflected and shaped the American national character. Spiro explores the histories of birthright citizenship, naturalization, dual citizenship, and how those legal regimes helped reinforce an otherwise fragile national identity. But on a shifting global landscape, citizenship status has become increasingly divorced from any sense of actual community on the ground. As the bonds of citizenship dissipate, membership in the nation-state becomes less meaningful. The rights and obligations distinctive to citizenship are now trivial. Naturalization requirements have been relaxed, dual citizenship embraced, and territorial birthright citizenship entrenched-developments that are all irreversible. Loyalties, meanwhile, are moving to transnational communities defined in many different ways: by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, and sexual orientation. These communities, Spiro boldly argues, are replacing bonds that once connected people to the nation-state, with profound implications for the future of governance. Learned, incisive, and sweeping in scope, Beyond Citizenship offers a provocative look at how globalization is changing the very definition of who we are and where we belong.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195152182
  • 9780195152180
  • 2,038,452

Review quote

In Beyond Citizenship, one of our best and most provocative scholars demonstrates with skill, erudition, and an engaging style accessible to all how globalization's tectonic forces are eroding the coherence of American citizenship, the supposed bedrock of our national identity. With this much-needed book, our debate on this vital subject will never be the same. * Peter H. Schuck, author of Citizenship Without Consent and Citizens, Strangers, and In-Betweens and Simeon E. Baldwin Professor, Yale Law School * A lively and accessible investigation of how the law and practice of citizenship are being transformed by globalization. Professor Spiro fearlessly explores the ultimate consequences of current trends and arguments. His vision of a future multiplicity of partial citizenships raises serious challenges for democratic politics. Spiro's account is provocative throughout and provides rich food for thought. * Gerald Neuman, author of Strangers to the Constitution and J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, Harvard Law School * In this lucid, engaging, and highly accessible book, Peter Spiro traces the erosion of the legal foundations of American citizenship and shows why the foundations cannot be repaired. Spiro argues that it is no longer possible to sustain a distinctive American identity. This book poses an important challenge to anyone seeking to view American social and political life through the lens of citizenship. * Joseph H. Carens, author of Culture, Citizenship, and Community and Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto * This is a major contribution to the issue of political membership in our unsettled world. Its distinctiveness is a mix of precision and the shattering of traditional conceptual boundaries, which allows Spiro to open up new analytical terrain in a subject more often developed through the language of aspirations. * Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights and Helen and Robert Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University *show more

About Peter J. Spiro

Peter J. Spiro is Charles Weiner Professor of Law at Temple University. A former State Department lawyer, National Security Council staff member, and U.S. Supreme Court law clerk, he has written on international, immigration, and constitutional law for many of the nation's top law reviews as well as such publications as Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic.show more

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7 ratings
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