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date: 28 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Racial categorizations have been used since antiquity as grounds for assigning and taking away citizenship. This history includes cycles of racialization and deracialization. The proto-racialization of citizenship in Athens was followed by a more open Roman model. The racialization of religious bigotry did not become formalized until the creation of anti-Jewish and anti-Moorish policies in sixteenth century Iberia. Examining the historical record across diverse contexts suggests that jus sanguinis is not inherently racist. While in an abstract sense, jus soli might sustain a civic vision of nationality, in practice, the examples of Western Hemisphere states, particularly the United States, shows that jus soli is fully compatible with racialized citizenship. The construction of nation-states from empires is consonant with the racialization of policies while the consolidation of the nation-state system created barriers to racialization. Since the mid-twentieth century, citizenship has entered a deracializing phase, even as political entrepreneurs aggressively test the strength of anti-racist institutions.

Keywords: Race, racism, citizenship, ethnicity, jus sanguinis, jus soli, naturalization, denaturalization

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