Topologies of citizenship

Authored by: Kate Hepworth

Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies

Print publication date:  June  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415519724
eBook ISBN: 9780203102015
Adobe ISBN: 9781136237966


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In March 2008, a hand-drawn image of an American Indian in full headdress appeared throughout Milan on posters emblazoned with the words: ‘they suffered immigration, now they live on reservations’. Part of the national campaign for the Lega Nord (Northern League), a party that would come to power in April as part of Berlusconi’s winning coalition, the poster was less a statement of policy than a polemical vision of an imagined future in which Italians had conceded sovereignty and were forced to live in restricted and controlled areas of their own territory. This poster operated within a national election campaign that was fought – by both major coalitions – on questions of security, migration, and European integration. This campaign continually invoked images of a country under siege from an ‘influx’ of illegitimate outsiders: ‘clandestini’, who circumvent border controls to enter the nation, and ‘nomads’ from new European Union member states, for whom – it was said – the border no longer existed. In the language of these campaigns, the outsiders were already inside the nation but they were also waiting at its borders.

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