In liberal political thought, citizenship is often taken uncritically to be emancipatory and so also to be desirable. 1 Even critical approaches to citizenship often seem to assume its desirability in their reconceptualisations. There is a good reason for this. Full formal citizenship in some State is in fact mostly needed today for rights and recognition and in order to have a say (however symbolic) in how the local, regional and global systems are organised. Citizenship is made desirable within a system based upon liberal democratic principles because there is no other officially acknowledged option available within that system. The struggle for citizenship has, then, been the struggle for representation, for rights, and for recognition in the absence of an alternative. Yet, a resilient understanding of citizenship requires an appreciation of what happens when it is experienced in ways that challenge standard interpretations – when that citizenship is unwanted or ambivalent.