Doing and undoing borders: The multiplication of citizenship, citizenship performances, and migration as social movement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Despite the global and pervasive reality of human mobility, many western nations are framing migration as a security risk requiring a criminal justice response. Drawing on developments in the criminology of mobility, the social construction of difference, critical citizenship studies, and social movement theory, we develop an alternative theoretical framing of migration. We examine ways that the contemporary formation of citizenship and irregularity do bordering via the multiplication of citizenship categories that operate relationally and performatively to border subjectivities and construct differences. Drawing on illustrative examples from the United States and Spain, we then analyze the potential of local citizenship performances to undo borders and bridge the divide between irregularity and citizenship, with national and global implications for substantive and juridical rights. Reframing migration as a social movement and conceptualizing citizenship as a performance that reflects political struggle acknowledges the power of ordinary people to challenge borders from below.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTheoretical Criminology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Borders
  • citizenship
  • criminological theory
  • difference
  • globalization
  • migration
  • mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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