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Cittadinanza in vendita La citoyennet le droit d avoir des droits , comme l a d finie Hannah Arendt est aujourd hui refus e des centaines de millions de personnes d racin s, r fugi s, apatrides et autres ill gaux Pour quelques happy fews, en revanche, les passeports sont des produits de luxe qu ils collectionnent comme des toiles de ma tre, pour se simplifier la vie et payer moins d imp tsCe reportage montre ce qu est devenue l id e de citoyennet l re des gigantesques mouvements de population et de la privatisation des tats D un c t , les ultra riches ont accapar le titre de citoyens du monde et sont les seuls jouir, avec leurs capitaux, d une plan te sans fronti res De l autre, des nationalit s brad es, comme dans l invraisemblable transaction conclue entre l une des nations les plus pauvres du monde, les Cos, et les mirats arabes unis qui, pour r gulariser la situation des apatrides sur leur territoire, ont achet au prix de gros des dizaines de milliers de passeports comoriensUne captivante enqu te sur les cosmopolites, volontaires ou malgr eux A very interesting concept, but the book focused on one story at the expense of many it could have mentioned The intro, afterword, and a chapter in the middle about the technological changes pushing for national sovereignty changes are the integral parts The rest is mostly just in depth about one story introduced in the beginning To be fair, it s a very interesting story, but I was hoping forbreadth. 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 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 dealthan 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 Hawaii Part 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 questions 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 unequal 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 qualities as the states that supply them What s clear, however, is that havingpassports means you haverights, 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 card.But the other category of consumers for these commercial passports is evenintriguing, 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 Iraq 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 bequeathed 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 deported.Needless to say, this wasn t what most of the bidoon wanted themselves what they wanted was Emirati or Kuwaiti citizenship, since these passports are farvaluable For example, Kuwaiti citizens get 55K year 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 e.g 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 One of my colleagues recommended this book, though I can t recall how he or she used it or the subject matter of the class I currently teach a writing class and am interested in using a theme of global engagement citizenship, so this looks interesting It s absolutely not what I was expecting.I figured the book would beabout seeing beyond national borders to see ourselves as citizens of the entire world thus making international concerns our own , and that was actually not far off in som One of my colleagues recommended this book, though I can t recall how he or she used it or the subject matter of the class I currently teach a writing class and am interested in using a theme of global engagement citizenship, so this looks interesting It s absolutely not what I was expecting.I figured the book would beabout seeing beyond national borders to see ourselves as citizens of the entire world thus making international concerns our own , and that was actually not far off in some ways Abrahamian focuses on the issues of those people who are not legally or officially recognized as citizens of any country I would argue that a significant part of the population in the US doesn t have to worry about that I know I certainly didn t But for people who were legally in a country until they suddenly weren t, life is close to a guessing game The book also looks at countries who are not well off economically and how business people can take advantages by buying and selling citizenship This is what happens when whole countries have agreements to honor the passports and citizenship of other countries It s politically and economically convenient, and apparently it s also a pretty successful business But countries that weren t well off to begin with still aren t well off It s sort of like having the World Cup and Olympics in Brazil police brutality, unemployment, political instability, and horrendous violations and rape of women aren t going away anytime soon.I m living in a time where my passport isn t a big deal I mean, I can t just go live in Italy, but my passport will get me there and home, and I won t be arrested and moved to some other country that I ve never known And I don t think the possibility of a President Donald Trump will change that, necessarily But man, we re talking a lot about borders these days, and it s worrisome that all it takes is a politician s signature that can so dramatically change the world.There really is no closure to this issue of course, it s still happening But I think it really effectively brings up the concept of borders and how often we rely on them and on the ideals of nationalism I also have to give to the author Abrahamian does a fantastic job of relaying the information in an objective, clear, and powerful way This isn t to say that she doesn t have a message, but she s letting the information speak for itself I am absolutely using this book in my writing class, and I m interested in readingof the Columbian Global Reports They re short, easy to read, and significant I started re reading this book during quarantine because of the situation we re all faced in.This book is a great read as it examines a good variety of ways citizenship has been commercialized and also in a sense weaponized.

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