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The Disallegiant Heart: Constitutional Citizenship and the History of Marital Denaturalization

October 15, 2012 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Helen Irving, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney

Abstract: In this paper, I invite a reconceptualization of constitutional (as distinct from political) citizenship, by examining the legal practice, virtually universal between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, of the denaturalization of citizen women who married alien men. This practice, which emerged as a by-product of the post-revolutionary constitutional state and the ‘new Westphalian’ international order, reveals two core paradigms: allegiance and protection. Our modern idea of citizenship, I argue, is still embedded in the first, to the detriment of the second. Our concept of citizenship, and the legal regimes that accompany it, reflect a distinction between the allegiant and the disallegiant citizen, which mirrors the injurious distinction upon which marital denaturalization rested.

A light lunch will be served.

Event date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Location: Solarium, Falconer Hall, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Contact Nadia Gulezko for information and a copy of the paper:


October 15, 2012
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm