chapter  16
13 Pages

Insider theory and the construction of statelessness

ByPhillip Cole

This chapter aims to examine is the way in which liberal political theory gives statelessness its shape and content. In international development theory there are, broadly speaking, two ways of understanding global poverty, known as the residual view and the structural view. The residual view largely emerges from neo-liberalism, and sees the global poor as a leftover from the international economic system a residue. The problem we face is that liberal political theory has been an 'insider theory', a body of theory that privileges the voice of the insider, the one who possesses statehood, the citizen. This means that any solution to the problem of statelessness theory produces will be structured around the interests of those specific members. So the relationship we are trying to understand here is not simply between statelessness and citizenship, but between statelessness and citizenship of liberal democratic states in the Global North.