1st Edition

Irregular Citizenship, Immigration, and Deportation

By Peter Nyers Copyright 2019
    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.

    "A remarkable book. Nyers analyses irregular citizenship and its political stakes with clarity, thoughtfulness and precision. Raising caution as well as inspiring hope, this is a must-read for scholars and activists alike." - Vicki Squire, University of Warwick, UK

    "In a time where citizenship is becoming an increasingly unstable category, Nyers provides us with a well researched, keenly argued, and clearly written book on one of the most important, but understudied, political transformations of recent history: the process of irregularization. This is essential reading for the 21st century." - Thomas Nail, University of Denver, US.