The winner of the IMISCOE Maria Ioannis Baganha Dissertation Award 2017: Dr. Yossi Harpaz

31 May 2017

His dissertation entitled “Compensatory Citizenship: A Comparative Study of Dual Nationality in Serbia, Mexico and Israel”, was defended at Princeton University in September 2016.

The award ceremony will take place during the IMISCOE conference in Rotterdam, on Wednesday June 28th 2017.

Dr. Harpaz’s thesis is an extremely original piece of work which makes a highly innovative shift from the dominant focus on dual citizenship. According to the author, since the 1990’s there has been a transformation of the meaning of citizenship “from an ascribed, rigid category that one is born into and has little prospect of changing, into a flexible status that one may pick and choose – or even strategize to maximize utility and compete with other actors.” In other words, as one reviewer puts it, citizenship has been commodified. But this occurs in a context in which citizenship is globally stratified which alters the conceptual concerns to global inequality, leading to a consideration of the comparative value of different citizenships. The central notion of asymmetric forms of citizenship emerges from the observed value of different citizenships and therefore the desirability of acquiring ‘compensatory citizenship’ -a concept the author develops- for those whose citizenship is of limited global value but at the same time have a chance of accessing more valuable forms of citizenship. Once set out, the author pursues these ideas in his thesis through an original combination of methods (large scale statistical/demographic and small scale, detailed qualitative political) to elucidate both the overall impact of compensatory citizenship and explanations for the specific instances in which it is found. The three empirical case studies are well chosen and are richly supported based on an impressive body of original research. The reviewers are unanimous in considering that this thesis is both theoretically and methodologically innovative and is a work of high quality that deserves recognition at the highest level.

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