Theory, Culture and Society 27 (5):37-48 (2010)

Alison Scott-Baumann
School of Oriental and African Studies
We distinguish between citizens of a state and strangers in a categorical way that seems clear and has the force of law behind it. In fact nationality is a highly contested phenomenon and one that is desired by many who are considered to be aliens or strangers. They range from guest-workers, to immigrants, to asylum seekers and they are often viewed with deep suspicion, even fear. The Kantian injunction to be hospitable to others is not being heeded, but should be the major consideration in any new legislation. It may now be necessary to consider a new law of asylum, as many Western states seek to bar such people from entry even if they are fleeing persecution. Moreover, we will only be able to resolve this persecutory, exclusionist tendency if we develop a strong, secure sense of self.
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DOI 10.1177/0263276410380425
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