Citizenship as a status assumes that all those encompassed by the term 'citizen' are included, albeit within the boundaries of the nation-state. Yet citizenship practices can be both inclusionary and exclusionary, with far-reaching ramifications for both nationals and non-nationals. This volume explores the concept of citizenship and its practices within particular contexts and nation-states to identify whether its claims to inclusivity are justified. This will show whether the exclusionary dimensions experienced by some citizens and non-citizens are linked to deficiencies in the concept, country-specific policies or how it is practised in different contexts. The interrogation of citizenship is important in a globalising world where crossing borders raises issues of diversity and how citizenship status is framed. This raises the issue of human rights and their protection within the nation-state for people whose lifestyles differ from the prevailing ones. Besides highlighting the importance of human rights and social justice as integral to citizenship, it affirms the role of the nation-state in safeguarding these matters. It does so by building on Indigenous peoples' insights about linking citizenship to connections to other people and the environment and arguing for the inalienability and portability of citizenship rights guaranteed collectively through international level agreements. These issues are of particular concern to social workers given that they must act in accordance with the principles of democracy, equality and empowerment. However, citizenship issues are often inadequately articulated in social work theory and practice. This book redresses this by providing social workers with insights, knowledge, values and skills about citizenship practices to enable them to work more effectively with those excluded from enjoying the full rights of citizenship in the nation-states in which they reside.
Lena Dominelli is Professor in Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, UK. She was President of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) from 1996-2004. Mehmoona Moosa-Mitha is Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Victoria, Canada.
’This book fills a significant gap in the literature on social work practice and will be greatly appreciated by social workers who work with immigrant and indigenous groups, asylum seekers, migrant workers, and exchange students as well as other marginalized people whose rights of citizenship are denied for political reasons. In the space of 24 succinct and informative chapters, Reconfiguring Citizenship expands our understanding of citizenship considerably and challenges our taken-for-granted assumptions concerning the rights of native-born and naturalized versus foreign residents of a country.’ Katherine van Wormer, University of Northern Iowa, USA