This panel highlights how anthropological approaches, both ethnographic and theoretical, can illuminate the strategic and experiential dimensions of stateless individuals and groups, as well as the futures of stateless societies, and enhance protections for vulnerable members of these categories.
Neither geographically specific nor tied to any socio-economic class, statelessness can be occasioned by numerous situations, singly or in combination: decolonization, state succession, refugee movements, changes to nationality laws, conflicting laws between polities, and others. Treatments of statelessness in relation to mobile individuals and groups have tended to be published in such fields as law and migration studies, while Anthropology has often been concerned with stateless societies, but our discipline has much to offer in illuminating both phenomena in the contemporary world. This panel invites anthropological treatments of statelessness, covering such issues as:
• Ethnographic case studies of how stateless peoples negotiate their lives in contexts of formal denials of rights;
• The effects of statelessness upon children's experience of growing up and identity/belonging:
• Ways of pursuing livelihoods in the absence of formal rights
• Statelessness and cosmopolitanism
• Everyday and extraordinary strategies of coping with the lack of documentation, extended incarceration, and the constant threat of deportation, as well as ultimately effecting transitions in nationality
• Anthropological interventions that can contribute to reducing the vulnerability of the stateless
• Connecting anthropological analyses of stateless societies with the predicaments of stateless individuals in state contexts
• Appraising the future of statelessness in contexts of increasing globalization and securitization
The panel welcomes papers that explore particular ethnographic contexts, proceed comparatively, or are primarily of theoretical orientation. This panel is co-sponsored by the World Council of Anthropological Associations as part of its initiative focusing upon Mobilities and Immobilities and by the IUAES Commission on Theoretical Anthropology.