What does it mean to be stateless?

Our world order is organised around sovereign states and each human being is meant to belong to at least one state where they are a citizen. Yet according to the UNHCR around 10 million people in the world are stateless – they do not have citizenship in any state. In a world completely occupied by territorially defined, sovereign states, what happens to those who do not belong anywhere? The topic has regained some urgency on the international political agenda as thousands of Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority persecuted in Myanmar, have fled to Bangladesh in recent months. It is also the topic of a new book published by Routledge, Understanding Statelessness, edited by Tendayi Bloom, Phillip Cole and Katherine Tonkiss (use the code FLR40 for a discount).

Two of the editors, Tendayi Bloom, Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the Open University, and Katherine Tonkiss, Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, join this episode. Find out more about Katherine Tonkiss’ work on migration and citizenship here and here. Find out about Tendayi Bloom’s forthcoming book on noncitizens here and a blog post on statelessness and the Global Compact for Migration here. They have also written a series of blog posts in relation to the book here.

Watch the video on the Rohingya mentioned in the podcast here. Read more about the work of Greg Constantine here.

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