Thursday, December 5, 2013
Review of THE SOVEREIGN CITIZEN – DENATURALIZATION AND THE ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC by Patrick Weil
Anna O. Law (CUNY Brooklyn) reviews THE SOVEREIGN CITIZEN – DENATURALIZATION AND THE ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC by Patrick Weil. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. The review begins as follows:
"French social scientist Patrick Weil has written a book that focuses on a seemingly minor aspect of U.S. immigration law: denaturalization policy, or the process by which one loses one’s American citizenship. Weil uses denaturalization policy as a vehicle to comment on other aspects of the American politics, most immediately the arbitrariness and politically contingent nature of one’s United States citizenship status, not just of immigrants, but also of native-born citizens. Weil notes that “Present –day Americans feel secure in their citizenship” (p.1). One comes away from the book having new appreciation for the precariousness of one’s U.S. citizenship and the ease at points in U.S. history when the government can arbitrarily revoke one’s citizenship, thereby possibly rendering even a native-born citizen effectively stateless."