Acts of citizenship: potential and pitfalls of subversive readings of citizenship

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkResearch


In my talk, I interrogate the emancipatory potential of the activist turn in the study of citizenship, ranging from the conceptualisation of citizenship as everyday practices and/or resistance to exclusionary nation-state practices to forms of transnational lived citizenship that have become ever more prevalent with globalisation. I argue that such an activist understanding has the potential to advance the well-being of populations that lack legal status. It can also foster rights-based claims for inclusion and create allegiances with different societal actors, locally, nationally, as well as globally. At the same time, such a partly subversive definition of citizenship as practice risks being unduly romanticised in its emancipatory potential. I conclude that activist citizenship as a category of analysis and practice is at its most emancipatory when focusing on new subjectivities that emerge in mobile transnational lives, often literally in the geographical space of the city.
Period19 May 2022
Held atTel Aviv University, Israel
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute