Citizens Without Frontiers

Engin Isin
Publication date: 
October 2012
Publication type: 

Engin Isin offers a new way of thinking about citizenship by interpreting citizen acts that cross borders and by moving away from the sovereignty principle.


States define who their citizens are and exert control over their life and movements. But how does such power persist in a global world where people, ideas, and products constantly cross the borders of what the states see as their sovereign territory?

This groundbreaking work sets to examine and interprets such challenges to offer a new way of thinking about citizenship. Abandoning the sovereignty principle, it develops a new image of citizenship using the connectedness principle. To do so, it interprets acts of citizenship by following “activist citizens” across the world through case studies, from Wikileaks and the Gaza flotilla to China’s virtual world and Darfur.

Written by a leader in the field, this accessible and original work imagines citizens without frontiers as a politics without community and belonging, inclusion without exclusion, where the frontier becomes a form of otherness that citizens erase or create. This unique work brings forth a new and creative way to approach citizenship beyond boundaries that will appeal to anyone studying citizenship, social movements, and migration.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Of those whose acts traverse frontiers   
Act 1: Of treason: WikiLeaks   
Act 2: Of rage: Rachel Corrie   
Act 3: Of disobedience: conscientious or civil?   
Chapter 2: ‘We, the people’   
Act 4: Of defense: Minuteman Civil Defense Corps   
Act 5: Of censoring: the Golden Shield Project   
Act 6: Of espionage: Stuxnet   
Act 7: Of assassination: drones   
Act 8: Of writing: Banksy   
Act 9: Of solidarity: Strangers into Citizens
Chapter 3: ‘We, the connected’   
Act 10: Of identification: We are all Khaled Said   
Act 11: Of hacking: LulzSec   
Act 12: Of defiance: No One Is Illegal   
Act 13: Of staging: Climate Camp
Chapter 4: Enacting citizenship   
Act 14: Of speech: Waging Peace   
Act 15: Of fury: Mariyam Manike   
Chapter 5: Citizens without frontiers   
Act 16: Of declaration: ‘We, the Roma Nation’   
Act 17: Of resistance: International Solidarity Movement   
Act 18: Of sharing: Open Rights Group   
Chapter 6: Emancipating (acts of) citizenship   
Act 19: Of enfranchisement: If the World Could Vote   
Act 20: Of music: Barenboim without words   

For more information and to purchase a copy, please see the Continuum Books website.

Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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