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Contesting CitizenshipIrregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Political$
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Anne McNevin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151283

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151283.001.0001

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Irregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Political

Irregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Political

(p.11) 1 Irregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Political
Contesting Citizenship

Anne McNevin

Columbia University Press

This chapter establishes the theoretical groundwork for the book as a whole. It asks who irregular migrants are and why this particular designation of status has so much to reveal about contemporary dynamics of citizenship. It argues that irregular migrants are brought into being in relation to particular constructions of citizenship. In recent decades, this co-constitution reflects a growing crisis of identity against the backdrop of globalization. As migration becomes more hierarchical, we are witnessing the illegalization of certain kinds of migrants as a bulwark against citizens' vulnerabilities. The chapter contends that both border policing against irregular migrants and the strategies employed by irregular migrants to contest their “illegal” status add a crucial dimension to the question of citizenship's future.

Keywords:   irregular migrants, citizenship, identity crisis, globalization, migration, border policing

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