Accepted Paper:

Reproducing citizenship: Challenges of cross-border surrogacy to the nation-state  


Daniela Schuh (University of Vienna)

Paper long abstract:

In recent years there has been a growing debate concerning children born from transnational surrogacy and how conflicting national legislations can lead to a legal limbo which leaves children in uncertainty with respect to guardianship and nationality. This paper focuses on transnational surrogacy with a particular interest in challenges posed to citizenship as tech-nology of state-building in our globalized, technoscientific world. Anchored in a particular ge-ographic and political community, citizenship encompasses individual rights and duties in relation to the state but also evokes notions of belonging, national identity, sovereignty, and control. It will reflect on how scientific insights and technological developments in the area of human reproduction, on the one hand, and citizenship in all its dimensions, on the other are co-produced. These reflections will be illustrated by turning towards Germany's legal struggle over the nationality of twin-boys who were regarded as stateless for more than two years due to their birth by an Indian surrogate mother for German parents. In its theoretical approach, my paper offers a co-productionist analysis of this case, drawing also on concepts such as "bioconstitutionalism" and "sociotechnical imaginaries" as introduced by Sheila Jasanoff and fellow writers. Aspiring toward a better understanding for the ways in which desires and vi-sions of collective social order are bound up with attempts to govern citizens' engagement with technological practices in a globalized setting, I also draw attention to lawmaking and adjudication as powerful institutions that enact and reproduce elements of prevailing national imaginaries.

Panel D3
STS and "the state"