You have stumbled upon the blog site of the Statelessness Programme – an initiative of Tilburg Law School, dedicated to research, training and outreach on statelessness and related issues. This is where participating researchers and friends of the Statelessness Programme are invited to post their thoughts on statelessness doctrine, case law and new developments in the field. It is an area for informal commentary and exchange of views. It is a friendly space, where we do our best to use plain language in describing concepts and background. We would like to encourage you to subscribe to the blog or check back regularly for new posts and to participate in the discussion by commenting on any entry that interests you. In this first post, we would like to take the opportunity to extend to you a warm hello and welcome!
Statelessness is an issue that intersects and interacts with many others. There are, for instance, clear linkages between statelessness and forced displacement, gender discrimination, child protection, state succession, democratization, minority rights, human security and even climate change. For those with an interest in citizenship, the anomaly of the stateless person is compelling because it forces us to reconsider not only how nationality should be regulated, but the very meaning of citizenship itself. For those whose fascination lies with the universalist promise of contemporary human rights law, statelessness provides arguably the ultimate case study – a place to test assumptions about the de-linking of nationality and rights. And for those who seek to understand the role played by nationality today in the formation of our sense of identity, the stateless are uniquely placed to show what impact the denial of political membership has on a person’s psyche.
By commenting on concepts, cases and developments, we hope that this blog site will grow to provide a space for exploring statelessness from historic, legal, philosophical, sociological, economic, political and psychological perspectives. We look forward to this discussion.
Laura van Waas, Senior Researcher and Manager, Statelessness Programme