‘Global Britain’ and the coloniality of British citizenship


Migration, Borders, Diaspora - Lecture 5

Lecturer: Prof Michaela Benson

March 4, 2022


Citizenship is commonly understood as offering equal rights. But looking into the history of this shows the struggles that accompanied this, the populations written out of the claim to these equal rights, and the global inequalities this produced in its wake.

In this lecture, I consider ‘the coloniality of citizenship’ in the case of Britain’s immigration and nationality legislation. Focussing on how the status of the people of Hong Kong shifted from subjects, to citizens, to aliens and more recently ‘Good migrants’ for ‘Global Britain’, I show how the coloniality of British citizenship set the stage for a post-Brexit Britain that has ’taken back control’ of its borders.

Reading

Resources

Citizenship is commonly understood as offering equal rights. But looking into the history of this shows the struggles that accompanied this, the populations written out of the claim to these equal rights, and the global inequalities this produced in its wake.

In this lecture, I consider ‘the coloniality of citizenship’ in the case of Britain’s immigration and nationality legislation. Focussing on how the status of the people of Hong Kong shifted from subjects, to citizens, to aliens and more recently ‘Good migrants’ for ‘Global Britain’, I show how the coloniality of British citizenship set the stage for a post-Brexit Britain that has ’taken back control’ of its borders.

Reading

Resources