Sites of Statelessness

Laws, Cities, Seas

Expected to ship: 2024-11-01

Explores various unusual sites of statelessness like sea, cities, and laws, beyond mere legal and regulatory frameworks, that determines statelessness.


Statelessness is incessantly produced in seas, cities, and law. Building around the postcolonial experiences of statelessness Sites of Statelessness examines the entanglements of citizenship policies and practices with the spread of statelessness in contemporary times, something that defies any kind of a citizen/stateless binary. These policies are significant, the background of a shift in emphasis from jus soli to jus sanguinis, the proliferation of borderland populations and nowhere people, population flows across (post)colonial border formations and boundary delimitations, and the growth of regional, formal, and informal labor markets characterized by immigrant labor economies. In this context, contributors address the distinctive dynamics of the different sites in the production of statelessness and considers the impact of these sites as critical and does not merely treat them as a backdrop. They argue that these different sites evoke different histories and repertoires and also bring different possibilities of alignment with emerging problematics.

Ayşe Çağlar is Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Vienna University, and a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury is Professor of Political Science at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India. Ranabir Samaddar is Distinguished Chair Professor of Migration and Forced Migration Studies at the Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata, India.


"As opposed to the traditional state-centered and legalistic conceptualization of statelessness the core argument of this volume opens a series of novel analytical trajectories. It fosters an examination of the conditions of de facto statelessness, thus blurring distinctions between citizen and stateless persons. To the same effect, it shifts the analysis towards a concern with precarity and abandonment. Each chapter helps us (re)think 'familiar' debates—such as those on logistics, urban spaces, migration across the Mediterranean, and others—through this reframed concept of statelessness, broadening the significance of the volume's contribution beyond the specific realm in which it emerges. The most significant aspect of this volume is not so much that it 'contributes to the field,' but rather that it attempts to create one." — Paolo Novak, SOAS University of London