Through a comparative analysis of ten liminal polities - Abkhazia, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, South Ossetia, Palestine, Taiwan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Transnistria and Western Sahara, the paper focuses on the ways in which such polities actively perform statehood and citizenship to compensate for their sovereignty deficit. The paper has a three-fold aim: a) to measure the impact of internal and/or external statehood contestation on the scope of citizenship rights in liminal polities; and b) to demonstrate how such atypical polities represent liminal spaces of citizenship, whose subjects are neither full citizens nor stateless; and c) to analyze the performative role of citizenship and struggles over rights claims in enabling these liminal polities and their citizens to constitute themselves as political subjects — as states and citizens, respectively. It argues that, although statehood contestation and lack of sovereignty have a direct bearing on the scope of citizens’ rights, the level of impediment of rights and protection of individuals belonging to such atypical entities is determined by the degree of internal/external contestation as well as the very functionality of the citizenship regime in place.
- contested territories
- performative citizenship