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Negotiating Extra-Territorial Citizenship: Mexican Migration and the Transnational Politics of Community
By David Fitzerald
Published 2000, 122 pages, paperback
The dominant nation-state model of citizenship, in which political identity and state territory are congruent, is increasingly unable to resolve the contradictions created by global mass migration. FitzGerald’s careful ethnographic fieldwork in Michoacán, Mexico, and Southern California supports a process-based model of extra-territorial citizenship, in which migrants claim citizenship in their places of origin even when they are physically absent.
FitzGerald explains why many Mexican migrants based in the United States want to be “taken into account” in the politics and development of their home communities. He focuses on the consequences of “transnational” political attitudes and behavior for migrant-sending communities. The analysis has important implications for proposals being discussed in Mexico to extend voting rights in Mexican elections to migrants based abroad and to give them representation in the Mexican Congress. The monograph is written in a highly accessible style and is illustrated with numerous photographs by the author.