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Equality and the Free Movement of People: Citizenship and Internal Migration

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys comparative examples of the tension between the promise of citizenship to deliver equality and the particularistic drive to maintain diversity. Democratic states tend to guarantee free movement within their territory to all citizens, as a core right of citizenship. Within the European Union (EU), several member states engage in selective border controls and other restrictions on access for EU citizens, for example those who claim social assistance. Barriers to free movement can grow or persist even in very democratic societies that have a deep concern for equal citizenship. To illustrate this point, the chapter considers free movement in three multilevel democratic political systems: the EU, Canada, and the United States. It also considers the politics of borders and boundaries and argues that "internal migration" deserves as much study as international migration. It concludes with some general thoughts about the inevitable tension between diversity and equality.

Keywords:European Union (EU); free movement; internal migration



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