Citizenship management: On the politics of being included-out

John N. ERNI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Many in Hong Kong have identified the city as ‘half-sovereign’ or ‘conditionally sovereign’, as postcoloniality has brought about new ruptures and shifting boundaries of citizenship in economic, cultural and legal terms. The work of deciphering questions of belonging is still ongoing, and has in fact intensified in recent times. Increasingly, who qualifies as a citizen and where their sense of home is have become vital questions for two visible groups: the Chinese Mainlanders whose personal and cultural fortunes have been transformed by opportunities presented by the permeability of the city-border, and the foreign domestic helpers whose right of belonging has been caught up in discriminatory immigration laws. My argument is that their fates are conjoined by what I call the state of being ‘included-out’, something augmented by nebulous doctrines of citizenship rights as well as by legalized and informal forms of cultural racialism. Through an analysis of the landscape of human rights struggles concerning the right of abode for people caught in half-sovereignty, I hope to outline the biopolitical continuum of those ‘included-out’ in Hong Kong’s citizenship management regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-340
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Biopolitics
  • citizenship management
  • Director of Immigration v. Chong Fung Yuen
  • Hong Kong
  • human rights laws
  • immigration policies
  • right of abode
  • Vallejos and Daniel v. Commission of Registration


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