mardi 10 avril 2018

China’s Hidden Children: Negotiating Documentation Denial and its Impact on a Population at Risk of Statelessness


Based on interviews and an online participant observation, the thesis looks at a population of roughly 30 million children who are at risk of statelessness in China due to denial of the hukou, the document that affirms nationality. I discuss how China’s fragmented, ambivalent state generates spaces for uneven documentation denial and negotiations over the hukou. These negotiations by citizens in China can be understood through Scott’s concept of ‘everyday resistance’ as parents respond to the birthing, adoption and immigration policies which underlie documentation denial. When ‘everyday resistance’ fails, ‘rightful resistance’ (O’Brien and Li) illustrates how some parents obtain documentation for their children, and through the internet can mobilise other families in similar circumstances. I argue that spaces of ambiguity can also be appropriated by individual government officials and citizens in the context of these negotiations. The thesis offers a case study in a previously unexplored group. Taken as a whole it contributes to statelessness scholarship and in particular to our understanding of agency and negotiation in the denial and acquisition of nationality documents.

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Mémoire de Stephanie Anne Gordon

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