Afterword: Interrogating naturalisation, naturalised uncertainty and anxious states

Fortier, A.-M. (2021) Afterword: Interrogating naturalisation, naturalised uncertainty and anxious states. Ethnicities, 21 (2). pp. 395-407. ISSN 1468-7968

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This afterword addresses four broad questions raised by this special issue: uncertainty as a mode of governance, the ontological politics of naturalisation, the citizen-noncitizen distinction, and performative (anxious) states. First, taking uncertainty as a mode of neoliberal governance as the starting point of analysis, this afterword invites the scrutiny of the ways in which the artifice and uncertainty of citizenship are concealed or rendered irrelevant in naturalisation processes. Second, the contributions to this special issue consider naturalisation as a social and political process, rather than solely as a legal status. Pushing this conception further, this afterword considers naturalisation as transactional in two ways: on the one hand, migrants navigate a number of formal and informal requirements and ‘tests’, where some transactions are needed along the way, be they financial, practical, or symbolic. On the other hand, transactions will also occur in the translation of political ideology into policy. Third, naturalisation regimes both blur and reify the citizen-noncitizen and the citizen-migrant distinctions. Distinctions which this afterword unpacks by unravelling the assumed separation between citizenship and migration. How are citizens and migrants migratised? How are migrants and citizens citizenised? Fourth, a further element of the analysis concerns how state-citizen relations are enacted and by extension, how the state itself is ‘made up’ and ‘anxious’. The affective politics of ‘anxious states’ are telling of the frames of desire of naturalisation, which are founded on a threefold principle: the desirability of citizenship, the desire for desirable citizens, and the desirability of the state itself.

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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Ethnicities, 21 (2), 2021, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2021 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Ethnicities page: on SAGE Journals Online:
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?? anxious statecitizenisationcitizenshipmigratisationnaturalisationnoncitizenshipcultural studies ??
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19 Apr 2021 14:50
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19 May 2024 00:44