People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap

By Alison Brysk; Gershon Shafir | Go to book overview

2

Citizenship and Human Rights in an Era of Globalization

GERSHON SHAFIR

In one of the most influential studies on contemporary immigration, The Limits of Citizenship, Yasemin Soysal (1994) found that guest-workers-turned-immigrants in western Europe have been incorporated into their host societies not as citizens but through a new model of membership-universal personhood. The new incorporation regime emerges as universal human rights are replacing national rights, and universal personhood is supplanting nationhood as the defining focus of citizenship. And yet, the sovereign nation-state still remains the sole institution that administers and enforces rights, even those conceived to be universally held. Soysal cautiously calls hers a "postnational" model of citizenship, one in which state sovereignty is contested but not yet replaced. While she is undoubtedly correct in describing this partial transformation as the sign of a transitional era, by treating universal personhood itself as a form of citizenship she obscures an important distinction and its implications for her thesis. Christian Joppke further criticizes her for ignoring the notion that "national citizenship remains indispensable for immigrant integration, " especially for second- and third-generation immigrants who would otherwise remain excluded from the national community as members of stigmatized minorities (Joppke 1999:645). Soysal's study leaves the nature of the relationship between national membership and postnational identity open: Is, in this view, universal personhood an attack on or an extension of citizenship? Do these types of incorporation overlap or clash? The way these questions are answered also has implications for judging whether the incorporation of immigrants eclipses or reinforces nation-states.

As a more productive way of addressing these questions, I wish to argue that we are faced with two alternative traditions-citizenship and human rights-that, however, have interacted in crucial ways. These traditions have been propelled by conflicting aims: anchoring rights in membership versus disconnecting them from membership and thus universalizing them. Nevertheless, though human rights emerged from autonomous intellectual sources, they were predicated on the legacy of political citizenship. In this chapter I will distinguish between the two traditions' origins, assumptions, and characteristics.

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People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • I - Framework 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Citizenship and Human Rights in an Era of Globalization 11
  • II - Producing Citizenship 27
  • 3 - Constituting Political Community 29
  • 4 - Latitudes of Citizenship 53
  • III - Constructing Rights 71
  • 5 - Agency on a Global Scale 73
  • 6 - Mandated Membership, Diluted Identity 87
  • IV - Globalizing the Citizenship Gap 107
  • 7 - Deflated Citizenship 109
  • 8 - Globalized Social Reproduction 131
  • 9 - Children Across Borders 153
  • V - Reconstructing Citizenship 175
  • 10 - Citizenship and Globalism 177
  • 11 - The Repositioning of Citizenship 191
  • 12 - Conclusion: Globalizing Citizenship? 209
  • Bibliography 217
  • Index 239
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