300 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    300 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Understanding Statelessness offers a comprehensive, in-depth examination of statelessness. The volume presents the theoretical, legal and political concept of statelessness through the work of leading critical thinkers in this area. They offer a critique of the existing framework through detailed and theoretically-based scrutiny of challenging contexts of statelessness in the real world and suggest ways forward.

    The volume is divided into three parts. The first, ‘Defining Statelessness’, features chapters exploring conceptual issues in the definition of statelessness. The second, ‘Living Statelessness’, uses case studies of statelessness contexts from States across global regions to explore the diversity of contemporary lived realities of statelessness and to interrogate standard theoretical presentations. ‘Theorising Statelessness’, the final part, approaches the theorisation of statelessness from a variety of theoretical perspectives, building upon the earlier sections. All the chapters come together to suggest a rethinking of how we approach statelessness. They raise questions and seek answers with a view to contributing to the development of a theoretical approach which can support more just policy development.

    Throughout the volume, readers are encouraged to connect theoretical concepts, real-world accounts and challenging analyses. The result is a rich and cohesive volume which acts as both a state-of-the-art statement on statelessness research and a call to action for future work in the field. It will be of great interest to graduates and scholars of political theory, human rights, law and international development, as well as those looking for new approaches to thinking about statelessness.


    Matthew Gibney

    Photograph - Saiful Huq Omi

    Chapter 1: Introduction to Understanding Statelessness

    Tendayi Bloom, Katherine Tonkiss and Phillip Cole

    Part I: Defining Statelessness

    Photograph - John Halaka

    Chapter 2: Worthy of Rights: Statelessness as a Cause and Symptom of Marginalisation

    Lindsey N Kingston

    Chapter 3: Contexts of Statelessness: The Concepts ‘Statelessness In Situ’ and ‘Statelessness in the Migratory Context’

    Caia Vlieks

    Chapter 4: Unpacking Statelessness

    Laura van Waas and Amal de Chickera

    Chapter 5: The State and the Stateless: the Legacy of Hannah Arendt Reconsidered

    Brad Blitz

    Part II: Living Statelessness

    Photograph - Logan Abassi

    Chapter 6: Challenging the disunity of statelessness in the Middle East and North Africa

    Zahra Albarazi and Jason Tucker

    Chapter 7: Race-based Statelessness in the Dominican Republic

    Jillian Blake

    Chapter 8: Statelessness, Ungoverned Spaces and Security in Kenya

    Oscar Gakuo Mwangi

    Photograph- Greg Constantine

    Chapter 9: Citizenship, Gender and Statelessness in Nepal

    Subin Mulmi and Sara Shneiderman

    Chapter 10: Members of Colonised Groups, Statelessness, and the Right to Have Rights

    Tendayi Bloom

    Chapter 11: Recognition, nationality, and statelessness: State-based challenges for UNHCR’s plan to end statelessness

    Kelly Staples

    Part III: Theorising Statelessness

    Photograph - Lodoe Laura

    Chapter 12: Why End Statelessness?

    Katja Swider

    Chapter 13: Realising the Rights of Stateless Persons: The Doctrine of Fiduciary Duty and the Role of Municipal Government

    David Passarelli

    Chapter 14: The Right to Family: Protecting Stateless Children

    Patti Tamara Lenard

    Chapter 15: Statelessness and the Performance of Citizenship-As-Nationality

    Katherine Tonkiss

    Chapter 16: Insider Theory and the Construction of Statelessness

    Phillip Cole

    Photograph - Denis Bosnic


    Tendayi Bloom is a Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the Open University, UK.

    Phillip Cole is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of West of England, UK.

    Katherine Tonkiss is a Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, UK.

    'This book offers timely analysis on many of the key questions confronting stakeholders working on statelessness, and will be an invaluable resource for a growing global civil society coalition committed to tackling the problem' – Chris Nash, Director, European Network on Statelessness

    ‘This outstanding book, enriched by a collective as well as separate and insightful chapters by its editors and incisive chapters by its distinguished contributors, illuminates both theoretical and practical aspects of statelessness as the dark side of modernity.’ - Engin Isin, Professor of International Politics, School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP)

    'It is fundamental reading for graduates and scholars of migration, human rights, political theory, law and international development. The effort of the editors and authors to bring an exceptional publication on such an important topic deserves praise. This book is thought-provoking and worthy of reading especially for those who are interested in deepening their knowledge of the many contexts and conditions of statelessness.' Juliana da Penha, freelance journalist and community worker developing various projects with migrant communities in Italy and Scotland