In This Review

Rights Across Borders: Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship
Rights Across Borders: Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship
By David Jacobson
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, 181 pp
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This short but well-written book addresses a neglected aspect of the contemporary decline of the nation-state. It studies in depth the different criteria by which France, Germany, and the United States distinguish between citizen and alien, from the political-territorial definition of the French to the ethno-cultural one of the Germans. The author notes that whatever the grounds, the ability of countries to set citizenship criteria is being undermined by the growth of transnational human rights, administered through courts and bodies like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This change leads to new opportunities for civic engagement but also undermines national community.