Situations of protracted camp-based displacement are a phenomenon of growing geopolitical signifi cance. However, most research on displacement takes the refugee, IDP or asylum-seeker as its starting point and the subject of ‘statelessness’ has received relatively little attention. Displacement is frequently associated with the loss of state protection and experiences of displacement, therefore, illuminate our understanding of citizenship. Moreover, work on ‘statelessness’ is very often limited to broad questions of law and policy and in-depth empirical analysis is overdue. In bridging the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, refugee studies and development studies, my aim has been to uncover the lived spaces of ‘statelessness’ so often hidden from view.