Yet, as many scholars observe, it is this boundedness of citizenship to the nation-state that has become problematic in the age of migration and globalisation. Many scholars have noted that with the increasing movements of people across boundaries there have been transnational, cosmopolitan, global forms of citizenship where dual and multiple nationalities are being negotiated. Some have attempted to develop concepts of cosmopolitan or global citizenship. Others have called for open borders. Yet, all these pre-suppose, I submit, a moving subject rather than an acting subject.
These are some of the ideas I’ll explore in my otherwise un-academic exploration of community and migration, of what makes a place a home and what fosters community. I suspect I will come across stories about ambiguity and confusion, migrants who can’t quite say where is home or what citizenship they feel in their hearts–never mind the one on their passports.
I’ve thought about citizenship and belonging for a long time. My mother was born in Northern Ireland and emigrated for Canada in the mid 1960s. Time wore away one accent and replaced it with another. Decades passed before she took Canadian citizenship. So is she Canadian or British? Is she both? For some people, it becomes a quest, a question, a riddle: Where is home? This is central to the question of citizenship.
Another question: Is it time to come up with new notions of citizenship and new definitions of community?