Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
La citoyenneté – le « droit d’avoir des droits » comme l’a définie Hannah Arendt – est aujourd’hui refusée à des centaines de millions de personnes – déracinés réfugiés apatrides et autres « illégaux » Pour uelues happy fews en revanche les passeports sont des produits de luxe u’ils collectionnent comme des toiles de maître pour se simplifie. Some are born citizens some purchase citizenship and some have citizenship thrust upon them this in a nutshell provides the narrative arc to Abrahamian's wonderful little book At its analytic core this book is an account of the rise of the passport sales industry pioneered by various passport entrepreneurs who have figured that this is a good revenue generation scheme for many impoverished island nations she focuses on the Comoro Islands a former French colony in the Indian Ocean and St Kitts and Nevis a former British colony in the Caribbean who often have very little else to sell Essentially these passport entrepreneurs arrive in these islands with a pitch for arbitraging one of the great remaining barriers within our globalizing world namely the stolidity of citizenship still something that the vast majority of people inherit as a birthright much as titles are inherited by aristocrats Some of these citizenships are worth a great deal than others the Swiss being the best and Afghan perhaps the least valuable measured both by the global mobility that the passport afford as well as the social benefits the holder can claim from the state As Sam Moyn and others have pointed out citizenship in a particular state is the still the primary vehicle through which rights are claimed Many of these passport entrepreneurs combine hucksterism with ideological passion either of a libertarian sort claiming they are undoing arbitrary and repressive government regulations or a humanitarian sort claiming they are solving the problem of statelessness Both types also claimed that by providing a new income stream to these poor islands they were kick starting a development process that in the case of the Comoros involved imagining these islands as a future Arab HawaiiPart of what is most interesting about Abrahamian's account is the varied customers for these passports for sale On the one hand the primary customers consist of the most privileged people on the planet who prefer to have multiple passports since each one comes with a particular mix of privileges these are the primary customers that the libertarian hucksters see themselves as serving In this phase of the story we seem to have a classic story about globalization eroding national sovereignties with these passport entrepreneurs promoting themselves as avatars of modernization and global cosmopolitanism against the atavistic mono citizenship regimes inherited from the 20th century Abrahamian asks some difficult uestions here about the relationship between the rights that come with citizenship and the duties that may also attend with the same mainly to criticize the deeply uneual nature of different sorts of citizenship as well as the absurdity of having basic political rights becoming a tradable commodity Citizenship far from being a universal category that provides the basis for universal human rights turns out to be as varied in its ualities as the states that supply them What's clear however is that having passports means you have rights and so for many globe trotting elites having multiple passports represents both a convenience and a political insurance policy in case things get dicey for them in a particular locale A foreign passport can serve as a literal get out of jail free cardBut the other category of consumers for these commercial passports is even intriguing namely the stateless for whom the possibility of a being able to purchase a passport and thus finally gain access to the the right to have rights as Arendt put it might seem like an unmitigated blessing Here however is where Abrahamian's story turns particularly interesting and dark It turns out that in the case of the Comoran passports some of the biggest customers turn out to have been the Kuwaiti and Emirati governments which were interested in purchasing thousands of Comoran passports in order to give them to the bidoon The bidoon are Gulf born residents who for various reasons often because their forebears had been immigrants from elsewhere did not claim or receive citizenship status when the opportunity arose in the postwar period The statelessness of the bidoon have been a political embarrassment for years one made worse by the progressive 'hardening of the Gulf states' definitions of citizenship in the wake of Ira's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 which was prompted in part by a desire to re write the kinds of state and citizenship lines that the Brits and French beueathed to the middle east as part of the postcolonial succession In the rising commercialized passport industry these governments saw a brilliant solution to their dilemma of what to do about these people who their legal machinations had rendered stateless by giving them a Comoran passport these lifelong residents of the Gulf states could now be declared visa less foreigners and deportedNeedless to say this wasn't what most of the bidoon wanted themselves; what they wanted was Emirati or Kuwaiti citizenship since these passports are far valuable For example Kuwaiti citizens get 55Kyear in direct cash transfers from their government than those associated with some remote and impoverished Indian Ocean archipelago Thus the great irony the process of expanding citizenship to the undocumented worked in practice to violate their subjective desires while the Gulf States attempted to deploy the language of human eg political rights as a way to deflect economic social and spatial claims making Thus are the ironies of the liberal global human rights regime in an age where everything even citizenship becomes a commodity
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian ☆ 4 review
The CosmopolitesR la vie et payer moins d’impôtsCe reportage montre ce u’est devenue l’idée de citoyenneté à l’ère des gigantesues mouvements de population et de la privatisation des États D’un côté les ultra riches ont accaparé le titre de « citoyens du monde » et sont les seuls à jouir avec leurs capitaux d’une planète sans frontières De l’autre des natio. 'wealthy and white you're an expat; hard working and from a third world country you're an immigrant; poor or black or on the brink of death you're a migrant' 'the sale of citizenshipspeaks to the arbitrariness of the concept of belonging to a nation to begin with'