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States Without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals
As citizens, we hold certain truths to be self-evident: that the rights to own land, marry, inherit property, and especially to assume birthright citizenship should be guaranteed by the state. The laws promoting these rights appear not only to preserve our liberty but to guarantee society remains just. Yet considering how much violence and inequality results from these leg ...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Columbia University Press
(first published 2009)
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Provocative is a soft word to describe the content and ideas in this book. For me, it was even radical, though I am not sure others would label it that. The proposals laid out are simple in theory, but their practicality and possibility of implementation are so implausible that it seems almost silly to think about. Abolishing birthright citizenship is nothing new; scores of citizenship scholars presently advocate for this view. Stevens just goes further than all of them by arguing for the end of ...more
So, here's something Stevens wrote: "First, mortals are conscious of being born from another mortal's body. Second, half are conscious that anatomy denies them the ability to similarly give birth. Envying the ability to reproduce children from their own bodies, men compensate by presiding over entire reproductive units, political societies they create by law. A political society's kinship rules for creating families to repopulate the larger hereditary group derive from men's desire to control by ...more
"Jacqueline Stevens writes about how laws create hereditary membership groups that seem to be natural. Her most recent book States without Nations: Citizens for Mortals (Columbia University Press) will be available in November, 2009. It considers eliminating four laws responsible for most of the world's violence and inequality and explores the psychological grounds for their persistence in light of copious evidence that they are irrational and unjust. The four laws are: birthright citizenship, i ...more