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This subject takes a deep dive into statelessness, a serious but little understood human rights issue affecting millions of people around the world, including in the Asia Pacific region. Key related concepts of citizenship, statelessness and legal identity will be discussed, as will the debate around the limits of State sovereignty when it comes to the right to nationality. The causes and consequences of statelessness will be unpacked, with a focus on the human impact of statelessness. We critically examine the international legal framework established to address statelessness, and we scrutinise past, present and possible future manifestations of statelessness with a view to understanding how these may be prevented or resolved.
Principal topics will include:
- Key concepts and definitions: citizenship, statelessness, and legal identity,
- The right to belong? Ethical and Political Dimensions,
- Causes, consequences and the human impact of statelessness,
- The international legal framework governing statelessness,
- The protection of stateless persons in a migratory context,
- Solutions to statelessness: citizenship as the panacea?,
- Contemporary and future problems of statelessness: including ‘Citizenship stripping’ and climate change and nationality,
- International Development: Identity Management, Legal Identity and Human Rights.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- Differentiate between fundamental concepts such as citizenship, statelessness, and legal identity, and critically assess their ethical and political implications,
- Examine the multifaceted causes and far-reaching societal consequences of statelessness, with a specific focus on the profound human impact of being without a nationality,
- Assess and analyse the protection of stateless persons within the context of migration, exploring issues related to displacement, asylum, and human rights,
- Evaluate domestic and international legal frameworks governing statelessness, including the rights and protections accorded to stateless individuals, and analyse the challenges in its implementation,
- Explore potential solutions to the issue of statelessness, including the role of citizenship as a remedy, and evaluate their viability in addressing the complex challenges posed by statelessness,
- Critically discuss and debate the implications of statelessness for international development, identity management, and human rights.
- Critically assess complex legal issues surrounding statelessness, evaluating the interplay between concepts like citizenship, sovereignty, and human rights, and forming well-reasoned and persuasive arguments based on evidence and research,
- Conducting thorough legal research to understand and interpret international legal frameworks and conventions related to statelessness, enabling effective analysis of cases, treaties, and scholarly works,
- Through in-depth study and discussion of statelessness within the framework of migration, security, and environmental challenges, students will develop the ability to critically assess how this complex issue shapes and is shaped by the ever-evolving fabric of contemporary society.
Last updated: 10 November 2023