Strategic, Symbolic or Legitimate? Analyzing Engaging with Dual Citizenship from the Bottom-Up

Eleanor Knott

Monday, March 7th 2016
16:20 – 18:20 PANEL 3: KIN-STATE CITIZENSHIP AS IDENTITY AND EXPERIENCE

 

Why do individuals acquire dual citizenship from kin-states? Using the case study of Moldova and engagement with Romanian citizenship acquisition (or reacquisition) this paper argues it is both important to study kin-state citizenship acquisition from the bottom-up, by analyzing the lived experience of acquisition, to understand more fully the social and political impacts of this status. Secondly this paper argues for understanding motivations for engagement with kin-state citizenship beyond a strategic-symbolic continuum to consider also a third normative dimension, where kin-state citizenship is constructed as natural and normal and, thus, legitimate. Focusing on this normative dimension helps to understand engagement with kin-state citizenship, and a richer understanding of this engagement than a ‘strategic’ dimension suggests, even for those who do not identify co-ethnically or with the kin-state, by demonstrating how ties of legitimacy can bind those to the kin-state irrespective of kin-state identification.

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