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At Home in Two CountriesThe Past and Future of Dual Citizenship$
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Peter J. Spiro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785829

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785829.001.0001

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Turning the Corner on Dual Citizenship

Turning the Corner on Dual Citizenship

(p.56) 4 Turning the Corner on Dual Citizenship
At Home in Two Countries

Peter J. Spiro

NYU Press

This chapter documents the shift toward toleration of dual citizenship status, beginning with the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Afroyim v. Rusk. The Warren Court came to see citizenship as a right, raising the bar to its dispossession. Justice Black’s categorical rejection of Congress’s power to “take away an American citizen’s citizenship without his assent” was not meant to protect dual citizenship, but it set in motion a series of judicial and administrative decisions that reached that destination. These moves were enabled by a shift in global relations. It was no longer imperative to maintain clear boundaries of human community. Competing claims became less incendiary as the human rights revolution constrained the ways in which states could any individual, regardless of nationality. Manpower became less important to establishing state power in the wake of military mechanization. The ideological and bipolar orientation of the Cold War helped break down old-world notions of loyalty to sovereign.

Keywords:   Afroyim v. Rusk, Supreme Court, dual citizenship, human rights, Cold War, Justice Black

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