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Statelessness: A Modern History
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Mira L Siegelberg
Statelessness: A Modern History by Mira L Siegelberg at Abbey's Bookshop,

Statelessness: A Modern History

Mira L Siegelberg


Harvard University Press

Legal history


330 pages

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Today over 12 million people are stateless and millions more are refugees or displaced persons. Mira Siegelberg shows how the much-contested legal category of statelessness generated novel visions of political and legal authority beyond the territorial state, before ultimately empowering the sovereign territorial state as the fundamental source of protection and rights.

Two world wars left millions stranded in Europe. The collapse of empires and the rise of independent states in the twentieth century produced an unprecedented number of people without national belonging and with nowhere to go. Mira Siegelberg's innovative history weaves together ideas about law and politics, rights and citizenship, with the intimate plight of stateless persons, to explore how and why statelessness compelled a new understanding of the international order in the twentieth century and beyond.

In the years following the First World War, the legal category of statelessness generated novel visions of cosmopolitan political and legal organization and challenged efforts to limit the boundaries of national membership and international authority. By linking the emergence of mass statelessness to a revolution in legal consciousness, Siegelberg shows how the rights regime created after the Second World War ultimately empowered the territorial state as the source of protection and rights, against alternative political configurations.

Today, more than twelve million people are stateless and millions more belong to categories of recent invention, including refugees and asylum seekers. As Statelessness makes clear, understanding the ideological origins of the international agreements that define approaches to citizenship and non-citizenship can better equip us to confront the dilemmas of political structure and authority at a global scale.

By:   Mira L Siegelberg
Imprint:   Harvard University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm, 
ISBN:   9780674976313
ISBN 10:   0674976312
Pages:   330
Publication Date:   July 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mira L. Siegelberg received the Gross Prize at Harvard University for the best dissertation in history. She has held the Perkins-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Princeton University Society of Fellows and is an assistant professor of History and Law at Queen Mary University of London.

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