Irregular Citizenship, Immigration, and Deportation: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Irregular Citizenship, Immigration, and Deportation

1st Edition

By Peter Nyers


172 pages

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Paperback: 9781138337008
pub: 2018-12-20
Hardback: 9781138336988
pub: 2018-12-11
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pub: 2018-12-14
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Deportation has again taken a prominent place within the immigration policies of nation-states. Irregular Citizenship, Immigration, and Deportation addresses the social responses to deportation, in particular the growing movements against deportation and detention, and for freedom of movement and the regularization of status.

The book brings deportation and anti-deportation together with the aim of understanding the political subjects that emerge in this contested field of governance and control, freedom and struggle. However, rather than focusing on the typical subjects of removal – refugees, the undocumented, and irregular migrants – Irregular Citizenship, Immigration, and Deportation looks at the ways that citizens get caught up in the deportation apparatus and must struggle to remain in or return to their country of citizenship. The transformation of ‘regular’ citizens into deportable ‘irregular’ citizens involves the removal of the rights, duties, and obligations of citizenship. This includes unmaking citizenship through official revocation or denationalization, as well as through informal, extra-legal, and unofficial means. The book features stories about struggles over removal and return, deportation and repatriation, rescue and abandonment. The book features eleven ‘acts of citizenship’ that occur in the context of deportation and anti-deportation, arguing that these struggles for rights, recognition, and return are fundamentally struggles over political subjectivity – of citizenship.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of citizenship, migration and security studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Citizens of the deportspora

1. The subject of irregularity

2. Abandoned citizens

3. Accidental citizens

4. Irregular economies of rescue and revocation

5. Irregular returns: repatriation from below

6. Liberating irregularity: democratizing borders in sanctuary cities

Conclusion: Unsettling irregular citizenship

About the Author


Peter Nyers is University Scholar and Associate Professor of the Politics of Citizenship and Intercultural Relations in the Department of Political Science, McMaster University. He is the author of Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency (Routledge 2006) and is a Chief Editor of Citizenship Studies.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship