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Marketizing sovereign prerogatives: how to sell citizenship

Surak, Kristin ORCID: 0000-0001-5064-2579 (2021) Marketizing sovereign prerogatives: how to sell citizenship. Archives Europeennes de Sociologie, 62 (2). pp. 275-308. ISSN 0003-9756

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0003975621000217


How is a sovereign prerogative brought to market? We know much about how states shape markets and vice versa, but less about the dynamics when states not only set market rules, but are also the sole producer of the good. This article takes up the case of citizenship by investment - "golden passport"programs that offer citizenship in recognition of an investment in a country - to unpack the challenges that appear when states commodify sovereign prerogatives. In these cases, the state holds multiple roles that generate conflicts of interest and a concern for credibility. To address these concerns, states may adopt two strategies: institute a division of labor in issuing the product, and outsource elements of supervision to third-party actors. Empirically, the analysis shows how migration service providers retooled murky discretionary grants of citizenship in peripheral countries into formal citizenship by investment schemes. The conclusion addresses how these strategies apply in markets for other sovereign prerogatives, particularly government debt, and discusses the implications for citizenship and neoliberalism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 European Journal of Sociology
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2021 17:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 23:21

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