Ever since Aristotle, political theorists have posited on the nature of the bond (tie, connection, attachment) that links a citizen to a polity. However, there is little agreement on what that “something” should be. International law has been silent on the issue. This is perplexing due to the international nature of citizenship, sometimes referred to as an ‘international filing system’. (Brubaker 1992)
Cutting across the areas of citizenship studies, political theory, and international law, this project explores the content of link between citizen and state by unpacking the research question: who has a right to citizenship? First, conceptually, it develops a novel framework for citizen-state links. Second, empirically, it surveys both national citizenship and case law to identify which links transform into formal belonging. And third, normatively, it produces customary principles for an international law of citizenship according to moral and ethical standards.