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Migration and Citizenship in Contemporary East Asia: Policies, Practices, and Struggles

Sat, June 25, 10:30am to 12:20pm, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 1F, 105

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel Proposal Application


The panel examines the changing policies and practices of citizenship in relation to the politics of migration in contemporary East Asia. Citizenship, the primary institution that defines the relationship between individuals and the state, is going through significant changes in the era of neoliberal globalization and international migration. “Flexible citizens” utilize their resources and go “citizenship-shopping” to disperse risks across borders and to maximize benefits. Immigrants have devised new and creative ways to acquire citizenship such as by entering (fake or real) marriages, by asserting (fake or real) kinship ties, and by offering military services or financial resources. Racial and ethnic minorities have pressured the state and demanded for full inclusion in the name of citizenship rights. States, on the other hand, have amended their citizenship policies and practices to selectively attract “desirable” immigrants while enhancing scrutiny over “undesirable” immigrants’ access to citizenship. With a particular emphasis on the strategies adopted by the state and non-state actors, the panel highlights varying ways in which citizenship is being reconfigured in East Asian societies. In particular, the papers in the panel collectively assess the extent to which citizenship has become a key factor in reproducing social and economic inequality and document resistance against such trend. In doing so, the panel hopes to advance the conversation on imagining a democratic national membership in the age of international migration.

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