Denationalisation and discrimination
Matthew J Gibney
In this piece, I consider the relationship between denationalisation and discrimination. Denationalisation, the involuntary removal of citizenship or nationality by the state, has a dark history, reflected in the Nazi use of the power. Yet before 1945, many liberal democratic states also practiced citizenship-stripping, in ways informed by considerations of gender, race, national origin, and mode of citizenship acquisition. As denationalisation is currently making a revival across a range of liberal democratic states as a way of responding to ‘home grown’ terrorists, a question emerges: Do recent denationalisation provisions manage to break free of this discriminatory past? Here, I use a discussion of denationalisation’s history and examination of the U.K. as the basis for a critical assessment of the power’s contemporary incarnations. I find that contemporary denationalisation power is still a powerful tracer of groups within the polity who, despite holding formal citizenship, are viewed as foreign.