Understanding Statelessness  book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Statelessness

ISBN 9781138711235
Published June 8, 2017 by Routledge
300 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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

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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