human rights, United Nations, UNHCR, citizenship, statelessness, individual choice
This thesis investigates the implications of State control of citizenship upon the individual's ability to choose membership in a given State polity. It briefly examines how States gained absolute control over the granting, denying and revoking of citizenship and demonstrates how the acquisition of citizenship and statelessness are both State-determined statuses. The repercussions of statelessness at the individual, regional and global levels are presented to demonstrate the severity of being unable to choose a citizenship. Efforts made by States and the international community to prevent and reduce statelessness are examined in order to illustrate the lack of prioritization given to the subject of statelessness, and possible courses of action for States and the United Nations to undertake in order to better address this topic are introduced. The thesis concludes that citizenship is a human right and that States need to consider individual choice concerning citizenship matters. If such choice is not taken into account with regard to State membership, States will be performing a disservice to citizens, the stateless, and the system of States.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Belton, Kristy, "The Great Divide: Citizenship And Statelessness" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 531.