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Resident Aliens, Non-resident Citizens and Voting Rights: Towards a Pluralist Theory of Transnational Political Equality and Modes of Political Belonging

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Citizenship Acquisition and National Belonging

Part of the book series: Migration, Minorities and Citizenship ((MMC))

Abstract

One way of framing current debates concerning the relationship between the rights of political membership due to migrants (both resident aliens and non-resident citizens) and the constitutional democratic polity is in terms of three distinctions that, jointly, delineate the conceptual space within which they occur.2 The first is the distinction between territorialized and nationalized conceptions of political community: on a territorialized view, membership of the political community is due to ‘competent adults in good standing’3 as a function of their habitual residence within the territorial jurisdiction of, and, hence, direct subjection to the governmental authority of, the state (or non-state polity), whereas, on a nationalized view, membership of the political community is due to ‘competent adults in good standing’ as a function of their membership of the national community of a nation state. The second distinction is that between membership of the political community of a polity and membership of the polity.

I am much indebted to Rainer Baubock, Andrew Mason and Graham Smith for their very helpful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter; although neither is persuaded by the argument presented here, their criticisms have forced me to clarify and, hopefully, strengthen it.

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© 2010 David Owen

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Owen, D. (2010). Resident Aliens, Non-resident Citizens and Voting Rights: Towards a Pluralist Theory of Transnational Political Equality and Modes of Political Belonging. In: Calder, G., Cole, P., Seglow, J. (eds) Citizenship Acquisition and National Belonging. Migration, Minorities and Citizenship. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230246775_4

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