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5th Annual Conference in Citizenship Studies: Boundaries and Citizenship

Date and time

March 27 - 29, 2008

About the conference

The Center for the Study of Citizenship hosts its 5th Annual Conference in Citizenship Studies! This year's theme, “The Boundaries of Citizenship,” explores the role of boundaries, both physical and conceptual, that shape the recognition and exercise of citizenship. Boundaries that constitute and shape citizenship are ever-shifting and contestable, and raise issues far beyond those associated with traditional legal categories.


McGregor Memorial Conference Center
Wayne State University
495 Gilmour Mall
Detroit, MI 48202


  • Frank Wu, Dean, WSU Law School, who spoke on The Limits of Borders: Asians as Aliens, Citizens, and Perpetual Foreigners
  • Michael Hardt, Duke University, The Capacities of Democratic Citizenship
  • Linda Bosniak, Rutgers Law School, Citizenship and Its Borders
  • Sherman Jackson, University of Michigan, Islam, Muslims and the American State

Presentations and notes


The subject included a broad range of philosophical, legal, and historical matters, such as the designation of the population and territory to be included within "the nation," the use of race, ethnicity, and gender to restrict ascription of citizenship, and the positing of limits to citizens' legitimate relationships with foreign nations or to their activities in opposition to their own governments.

Papers also dealt with such issues as the enforcement, crossing, and even questioning of national borders, the relations (political, cultural, economic, social, artistic, environmental) between border nations, or the consequences of national borders for citizens' participation in global or regional commerce, their realization of human rights, or their susceptibility to transnational law enforcement.