Journal Article


Rewriting Citizenship in Displacement: Displaced People’s Struggles for Rights

Published on 1 July 2011

For displaced people, citizenship (or the lack of it) is a crucial issue. Displaced people are denied formal citizenship and rights but are now claiming them, subjectively seeing their de facto experience as lived citizenship. Protests, claim assertions and transnational alliances are ways in which their struggle for rights is manifested.

Much of the existing literature tends to focus on a top-down understanding of displaced people as citizens/non-citizens and the formal processes available (or not available) to them, ignoring the importance of informal processes as well as local agency and practice, which this article explores through case study examples. The article also examines displacement in the light of differing theoretical meanings of citizenship, and asks to what extent the forced migrant is a global or transnational citizen.


Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

Publication details

published by
Institute for Human Development
Mehta, L. and Napier-Moore, R.
Indian Journal of Human Development, volume 5, issue 2


Related content