Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Stanley Aronowitz

Committee Members

David Brotherton

Lynn Chancer

Subject Categories

Migration Studies | Other Sociology | Politics and Social Change | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Theory, Knowledge and Science


Citizenship, Refugees, Nation State, Late Modernity, Structural Violence, Statelessness


In sociological literature, the condition of statelessness is marked by the inability or unwillingness of the state to protect its citizens from political violence. Refugees are those excepted from the state. Their precarity invites sympathy and hostility from the international community. By contrast, citizenship is the condition of inclusion. Members of nation states are protected from violence by the states to which they belong. In this dissertation, I investigate statelessness as a condition beyond the loss of protection from political violence. Can those granted citizenship be considered internally stateless, if the nation state abdicates its responsibility to provide for them socially, economically and politically? If so, who is at risk of internal statelessness? Would American citizens who may find themselves forcibly displaced by disasters be in a better position than refugees vis-à-vis social programs? If the ideological dichotomy of citizen and refugee holds, one would expect citizens to fare better in accessing social services. I examine these questions by looking at the experiences of resettled Iraqi refugees in Michigan and American citizens in New York City who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. I investigate the nexus of statelessness and citizenship in the United States to explore the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion under late modernity.

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