Changing patterns of mobility and connectivity, migration and transnational cultural interconnections all challenge the legal and political boundaries of sovereign nation-states, their legitimacy and capacity to organize and provide citizenship (Benhabib 2006; Shachar 2009). At the same time, new alliances, networks and collectives of citizens emerge and assume roles and responsibilities formerly attributed to the state as an institutional body and as representation of the people. Given these developments, citizenship today is at the same time associated with old and ineffective protocols, which continue to produce exclusion, and yet is also ‘in the making’, moving beyond established concepts. Citizenship is simultaneously in withdrawal and in the process of becoming. At its best, this ambivalent performance of citizenship has the capacity to rearticulate or reinvent citizenship, to link old and new figurations of citizenship – often, if not necessarily, across given thresholds of legal and political institutions, social conventions, disciplinary competencies and discourses, ascriptions and attributions of race, class, culture and gender (Hildebrandt/Peters 2018: 3).


Benhabib, Seyla (2006): Another Cosmopolitanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hildebrandt, Paula M./Peters, Sibylle (2018): “Introduction”, in: Hildebrandt, Paula M./Evert, Kerstin/Peters, Sibylle/Schaub, Mirjam/Wildner, Kathrin/Ziemer, Gesa (eds): Performing Citizenship. Bodies, Agencies, Limitations. Basingstoke/Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1–13.

Shachar, Ayelet (2009): The Birthright Lottery. Citizenship and Global Inequality. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.