- The Forfeiture of Nationality in France: Discursive Ambiguity, Borders, and Identities
- Space and Culture
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article aims to speak about the silenced effects of the forfeiture of nationality (i.e., denaturalization) through an analysis of the French law on denaturalization. The article argues that this law produces a principle of unequal citizenship and generates a differentiated understanding of national identity, through which French-born nationals enjoy an irrevocable right to nationality, whereas newly arrived nationals only have access to a conditional national identity. What are the effects of such division? And what does it tell us about the politics of national identity? Following a Foucauldian genealogical approach, the analysis reviews the effects of French former President Sarkozy’s speech in Grenoble on July 30, 2010, arguing that his discriminating views pertaining to nationality are not only a feature of contemporary politics of security and anti-immigration sentiments, but instead correspond with a differentiated approach to nationality that has been in play since the early 20th century.
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