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Rights across Borders

Rights across Borders

Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship

In Rights across Borders, political sociologist David Jacobson argues that transnational migrations have affected ideas of citizenship and the state since World War II. Jacobson shows how citizenship has been increasingly devalued as governments extend rights to foreign populations and how, in turn, international human rights law has overshadowed traditional definitions of sovereignty. Examining illegal immigration in the United States and migrant and foreign populations in Western Europe, with a special focus on Germany and France, Jacobson shows how the differing political cultures of these countries—the ethnic basis of citizenship in Germany versus its political basis in the United States, for instance—have shaped both domestic and international politics.