CALL FOR PROPOSALS AND ATTENDANCE
Citizenship-in-Question: Critical Perspectives on Jus Soli and Autochthony from Authenticité to ‘Birtherism’
Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice
Thursday April 19 - Saturday, April 21, 2011
This symposium will explore the relationship among nationality, autochthony, jus soli, authenticity, and claims to citizenship. What does it mean to be an authentic citizen? How does the ancient Greek concept of autochthony (i.e., birth from the earth), inform contemporary rules for nationality? How is law used to police the boundaries of a birthright citizenry? What is the evidential basis for citizenship? How and why do questions of citizenship and nationality imperil political leaders?
The symposium is free and open to the public, space permitting. Presentation is by invitation only. Expressions of interest or queries may be directed to Benjamin N. Lawrance [BNL@RIT.EDU] or Jackie Stevens [email@example.com]. RSVP attendance to Adrienne Leslie [Adrienne.firstname.lastname@example.org].
We welcome critical empirical and theoretical research on the implementation of citizenship laws in domestic, international, and comparative contexts. For more information about the symposium foci, please see below.
Beyond the privileged circles of political elites whose legitimacy is attacked by raising questions of their citizenship - including Barack Obama in the US, Sylvanus Olympio in Togo, Alassane Ouattara in Côte d’Ivoire, and Alberto Fujimori in Peru - citizenship laws in action are powerful and potentially dangerous weapons that imperil large numbers of people worldwide. How does authenticity operate at the grassroots level? What are the mechanics of enforcement? How does a citizenry in an emerging democracy interact with autochthony law? How is nationality deployed during the implementation of democratization? How does a citizen evidence the status of authentic autochthon? How do governments restrict the capacity to evidence citizenship and status?
Citizenship and nationality laws also continue to be sites of constitutional innovation. Quasi-democratic constitutional revisions, which may be used to eliminate electoral rivals, are frequently cited as progenitors of civil conflict. In the context of conflict, where refugees and asylum-seekers may lose documentation of their identities, nationality laws are deployed to restrict access to state protections or land tenure in countries of origin and host nations. Consequences of such laws and enforcement include expatriation, the expansion of electronic databases, and the proliferation of fraudulent document production. And as immigration patterns shift the demography of democratic nations as diverse as India, Ireland and the US, constitutional changes to the perimeters of jus soli are gaining momentum.
Conveners: Benjamin N. Lawrance (RIT) and Jacqueline Stevens (Northwestern University). Daniel Kanstroom (Boston College Law School), Rogers Smith (University of Pennsylvania), and Rachel Rosenbloom (Northeastern University School of Law) are co-organizers providing intellectual, logistical and financial support.
Primary funding for this symposium is provided by the Conable Endowment in International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice, the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College, the University of Pennsylvania Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, and Northeastern University School of Law.
Benjamin N. Lawrance, Ph.D.
Barber B. Conable, Jr. Endowed Chair of International Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of Technology
92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
http://www.rit.edu/cla/endowed_chairs.php Email: email@example.com
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