Citizenship is commonly understood as offering equal rights. But looking into the history of this shows the struggles that accompanied this, the populations written out of the claim to these equal rights, and the global inequalities this produced in its wake.
In this lecture, I consider ‘the coloniality of citizenship’ in the case of Britain’s immigration and nationality legislation. Focussing on how the status of the people of Hong Kong shifted from subjects, to citizens, to aliens and more recently ‘Good migrants’ for ‘Global Britain’, I show how the coloniality of British citizenship set the stage for a post-Brexit Britain that has ’taken back control’ of its borders.
- Benson, M. (2021) Hong Kongers and the coloniality of British citizenship from decolonisation to ‘Global Britain’, Current Sociology.
- Benson, M. (2021)Hong Kongers at the borders of ‘Global Britain’. Migration Mobilities Bristol [Blog], 26 October 2021.
- Boatcă, M. and Roth, J. (2016) ‘Unequal and gendered: Notes on the coloniality of citizenship’, Current Sociology, 64(2), pp. 191–212.
- Mark C-K (2019) Decolonising Britishness? The 1981 British Nationality Act and the identity crisis of Hong Kong elites. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 48(3): 565–590.
- Mark C-K (2020) Hong Kong: does British offer of citizenship to Hongkongers violate Thatcher’s deal with China? The Conversation, 1 June 2020.
- Oommen E (2020) Youth mobility scheme: Panacea or unfolding crisis for Hong Kongese without British National (Overseas) Status? Discover Society, 2 September.
- Shachar, A. (2009) The Birthright Lottery. Harvard: Harvard University Press
- Stoler, A. L. (2016) Duress: imperial durabilities in our times. Duke University Press
- Who do we think we are? The story of how British citizenship developed and why this matters for questions of race, migration and belonging in ‘Global Britain’ presented by Michaela Benson
- Hong Kong, NPR Throughline, 28 May 2020
- Hong Kongers in Britain.
- Lausan – a collective of globally dispersed Hong Konger writers, translators, artists, and organizers