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Reimagining Citizenship in the Black Mediterranean: From Jus Sanguinis to Jus Soli in Contemporary Italy?

posted on 2023-02-20, 03:23 authored by Vivian GerrandVivian Gerrand
How do citizenship claims—those, for example, of Italian born migrants with heritage from Italy’s former colonies of Eritrea and Somalia—encourage redefinitions of national belonging? This chapter reflects on a “Reimagining Citizenship” workshop organized by the author in collaboration with the Migration Working Group at the European University Institute in 2015. Aiming to investigate citizenship and national identity in Italy today and paying special attention towards the predicament of migrants in Italy from its ex-colonies, the “Reimagining Citizenship” encounter provided a platform for Italian intellectuals of Somali background Cadigia Hassan, Antar Marincola and Kaha Mohamed Aden to discuss what it means to be Italian with Somali heritage. After a screening of filmmaker Fred Kuwornu’s 18 Ius Soli, Italian MP Marilena Fabbri, Antonio Morone and Professor Anna Triandafyllidou discussed proposed Italian citizenship law reform. This chapter considers the interventions of these writers and filmmaker, drawing on an interview with MP Marilena Fabbri, to critically explore how their representations are in dialogue with Italian citizenship policy and the limitations of such dialogues in the face of populist xenophobia. It highlights the roles that different engagements with citizenship—be they literary, political or historical—play in shaping citizenship law reform. The conclusion reflects on the current state of play in Italy: despite strong citizenship law reform campaigns, more cohesive than ever with a strong media and political presence, proposed jus soli temperato laws (approved by the lower house in 2015) are yet to be approved by the upper house of Italian parliament.











Springer International Publishing

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Mediterranean Perspectives

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