Call for Paper: Special Issue on Bodies, Borders, and Displacement: The Crisis of Citizenship in Our Time

From India’s recent citizenship law amendments to the leaking refugee boats in the Mediterranean, from Australia’s off-shore indefinite detention centres for asylum seekers to the thorny problems of migration post-Brexit, from the US’s restrictions on entry of HIV+ sex workers from the Third World to the racialized quarantine of diseased bodies from the South in the wake of viral pandemics: the question of bodies, borders and displacement has become one of the most pressing juridico-political issues of our time, and has produced a crisis in our common sense understanding of citizenship.


Citizenship is everywhere a question of inclusion and exclusion, of who is inside and outside, who is inside, yet outside: whether in terms of the legal boundaries of who counts as “citizen”, or the corporeal exclusion of the unwanted from the border, or the settler colonial exclusions of the aboriginal. Just as a border marks a spatial outside, the legal category of citizenship creates the outsider. For the modern nation-state, citizenship is the legal form that national identity takes, constructed in opposition to the alien, the Other. This Other is the sometimes invisible and at other times the hypervisible labouring body, simultaneously indispensable and disposable when it comes to sustaining the myth of citizenship that modern political formations—in both the nation-state and the market—thrive on.


What are the legal mechanisms of this construction in both domestic and transnational legal frameworks, and how do they coexist with other legal frameworks of universal human rights, standard operating procedures of adjudication/ determination, the regulation of markets, and indigenous traditions of attachment to land? How does juridical and political discourse frame these issues? What is the role played by multiple actors in the worlds of the law, the media, the political, the activist, the aesthetic, the academic? What kinds of lives do the displaced live— both materially and metaphorically—within spaces of legal limbo that are surrounded by walls, wires or water?

For its Spring 2021 issue (Vol. 12, Issue 1), the Jindal Global Law Review (JGLR) invites contributions that explore the legal, political, social, cultural, historical, and philosophical questions attending to the entangled relationships between bodies, borders, and displacement that animate the crisis of citizenship today. As a law review with a critical and inter-disciplinary orientation, we welcome contributions across disciplines, jurisdictions, and forms, with a particular interest in academic works that critically examine current events with historical traction. We are also very interested in contributions that are not jurisdiction-specific but explore questions of citizenship and displacement at a comparative or a conceptual level. Along with full-length academic articles, we also welcome other forms such as case-notes, book reviews, review essays, long-form interviews and field reports.

Please submit a 300-word abstract by August 9, 2020.

Decisions on accepted abstracts will be announced by August 15, 2020.

Complete articles will be due on December 15, 2020.


Please send queries and submissions to: jglr@jgu.edu.in with carbon copies to asagar@jgu.edu.in and osircar@jgu.edu.in