chapter  6
18 Pages

Negotiating citizenships and borders of political belonging


This chapter undertakes an examination of citizenship in contemporary Canada through an analysis of perceptions of belonging and bordering practices among young Muslims. Recent scholarship on bordering shows evidence of adaptation and resistance towards securitised borders and the construction of alternative places, networks and territories (Rumford 2006, 2013; van Houtum 2005). In the context of this emerging research on bordering practices that stresses a bottom-up approach and calls into question the establishment and cartography of borders, alternative narratives of citizenship and belonging become possible along with a socio-psychological de/rebordering. Through an examination of the phenomenologies of bordering and belonging, the chapter sets out a range of alternative narratives of citizenship. Integral to the strategic governance of North American borderlands, the Canadian federal state has adopted a range of securitising laws and regulations in recent decades that have complicated the existing citizenship regime. It has thereby rendered certain visible minorities vulnerable both to state surveillance/control and associated forms of social/ cultural exclusion. Consequently, state surveillance, control and exclusion has vied with a legal-constitutional tradition of openness, trust and inclusion. 7KHGRPLQDQWGLVFRXUVHVRI&DQDGDKDYHERWKFRQGLWLRQHGDQGUHÀHFWHGWKHVH state tensions and balances. The growing securitisation of institutions and governance has sharpened the range of tactics available to citizens, inducing conformity in some instances, opening opportunities in other cases, and conditioning resistance/refusal in still others. On the basis of twenty recent and in-depth interviews with young Muslims in Canada, the chapter explores the psychological complexities of bordering and citizenship in three main sections: PHPEHUVKLSDQGEHORQJLQJLGHQWL¿FDWLRQZLWKSROLWLFDOFRPPXQLWLHVDQG (3) agencies and practices of citizenship. These sections explore, respectively, WKUHHNH\H[HPSOL¿FDWLRQVRIWKHFRPSOH[LWLHVDQGDPELYDOHQFHVRIERUGHULQJ SUDFWLFHV¿UVWWKHPDWWHURIhow to belong; second, the question of with whom to identify; and, third, the dilemma of what to do as a citizen. Throughout these sections, illustrations of the social psychology of bordering emerge.