Understanding Statelessness offers a comprehensive, in-depth examination of statelessness. The volume presents the theoretical, legal and political concept of statelessness through the work of leading critical thinkers in this area. They offer a critique of the existing framework through detailed and theoretically-based scrutiny of challenging contexts of statelessness in the real world and suggest ways forward.

The volume is divided into three parts. The first, ‘Defining Statelessness’, features chapters exploring conceptual issues in the definition of statelessness. The second, ‘Living Statelessness’, uses case studies of statelessness contexts from States across global regions to explore the diversity of contemporary lived realities of statelessness and to interrogate standard theoretical presentations. ‘Theorising Statelessness’, the final part, approaches the theorisation of statelessness from a variety of theoretical perspectives, building upon the earlier sections. All the chapters come together to suggest a rethinking of how we approach statelessness. They raise questions and seek answers with a view to contributing to the development of a theoretical approach which can support more just policy development.

Throughout the volume, readers are encouraged to connect theoretical concepts, real-world accounts and challenging analyses. The result is a rich and cohesive volume which acts as both a state-of-the-art statement on statelessness research and a call to action for future work in the field. It will be of great interest to graduates and scholars of political theory, human rights, law and international development, as well as those looking for new approaches to thinking about statelessness.

chapter 1|14 pages


Providing a framework for understanding statelessness
ByTendayi Bloom, Katherine Tonkiss, Phillip Cole

part I|70 pages

Defining statelessness

chapter 2|18 pages

Worthy of rights

Statelessness as a cause and symptom of marginalisation
ByLindsey N. Kingston

chapter 3|18 pages

Contexts of statelessness

The concepts ‘statelessness in situ’ and ‘statelessness in the migratory context’
ByCaia Vlieks

chapter 4|17 pages

Unpacking statelessness

ByAmal de Chickera, Laura van Waas

chapter 5|15 pages

The state and the stateless

The legacy of Hannah Arendt reconsidered
ByBrad K. Blitz

part II|104 pages

Living statelessness

chapter 6|15 pages

Challenging the disunity of statelessness in the Middle East and North Africa

ByZahra Al Barazi, Jason Tucker

chapter 7|15 pages

Race-based statelessness in the Dominican Republic

ByJillian Blake

chapter 8|18 pages

Statelessness, ungoverned spaces and security in Kenya

ByOscar Gakuo Mwangi

chapter 9|18 pages

Citizenship, gender and statelessness in Nepal

Before and after the 2015 Constitution
BySubin Mulmi, Sara Shneiderman

chapter 11|16 pages

Recognition, nationality, and statelessness

State-based challenges for UNHCR’s plan to end statelessness 1
ByKelly Staples

part III|79 pages

Theorising statelessness

chapter 12|19 pages

Why end statelessness?

ByKatja Swider

chapter 13|17 pages

Realising the rights of stateless persons

The doctrine of fiduciary duty and the role of municipal government
ByDavid Passarelli

chapter 14|14 pages

The right to family

Protecting stateless children 1
ByPatti Tamara Lenard

chapter 15|14 pages

Statelessness and the performance of citizenship-as-nationality

ByKatherine Tonkiss

chapter 16|13 pages

Insider theory and the construction of statelessness

ByPhillip Cole