Welcome to the Migration seminar

Beyond open and closed borders: The Grand Transformation of Citizenship 

Presenter: Ayelet Shachar, Professor of Law & Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Canada


This lecture will challenge the established dichotomy between open and closed borders, showing that one of the most remarkable developments of recent years is that borders are simultaneously both more open and more closed. Membership boundaries are not fixed or static. Instead, they expand or shrink, selectively and strategically, depending on the target populations they encounter.

Moving beyond the open-closed binary, Professor Shachar conceptualises a more dynamic, multifaceted, and kaleidoscopic process, which we might call the grand transformation of citizenship. Drawing on a rich set of comparative examples, Shachar explores three intersecting yet analytically distinct dimensions of the realignment of citizenship: the territorial, the cultural, and the economic. The moving parts that together comprise this transformation generate novel strategic possibilities for the state, which in turn creates new latitudes for the few and new restrictions for the many.

Shachar's goal, ambitious from the start, is to engage in theory-building by articulating the form and function of each of these facets of transformation. She further demonstrates how their variable combinations intermingle to police and restrict (or alternatively, relax and facilitate) access to membership in a globalising world, determining who may overcome the odds in the birthright lottery.


Ayelet Shachar (AS), Professor of Law, Political Science, and Global Affairs, and the R.F. Harney Chair and Director of the Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Program at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Previously, she was Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Please note the time 17.00-19.00 The seminar will be held via zoom.

Please note the time 17.00-19.00

The seminar will be online via zoom


Meeting ID: 682 2191 0554
Passcode: 299755