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Full Access Free Movement and Discrimination: Evidence from Europe, the United States, and Canada

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Free Movement and Discrimination: Evidence from Europe, the United States, and Canada

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Abstract This article surveys some general lessons to be drawn from 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. Similarly, the European Union guarantees (as the core right of EU citizenship) the right to live and the right to work anywhere within EU territory to EU citizens and members of their families. Such rights reflect the project of equality and undifferentiated individual rights for all who have the status of citizen. But they are not uncontested. Within the EU, several member states propose to reintroduce border controls and to restrict access for EU citizens who claim social assistance. Similar tensions and attempts to discourage freedom of movement also exist in other political systems, and the article gives examples from the United States and Canada. Within democratic states, particularly federal ones and others where decentralized jurisdictions are responsible for social welfare provision, it thus appears that some citizens can be more equal than others. Principles such as benefit portability, prohibition of residence requirements for access to programs or rights, and mutual recognition of qualifications and credentials facilitate the free flow of people within states and reflect the attempt to eliminate internal borders. Within the growing field of migration studies, most research focuses on international migration, movement between states, involving international borders. But migration across jurisdictional boundaries within states is at least as important as international migration. Within the European Union, free movement often means changing residence across jurisdictional boundaries within a political system with a common citizenship, even though EU citizenship is not traditional national citizenship. The EU is thus a good test of the tension between the equality promised by common citizenship and the diversity institutionalized by borders.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science, Glendon College, York University 2275 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M4N 3M6

Abstract This article surveys some general lessons to be drawn from 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. Similarly, the European Union guarantees (as the core right of EU citizenship) the right to live and the right to work anywhere within EU territory to EU citizens and members of their families. Such rights reflect the project of equality and undifferentiated individual rights for all who have the status of citizen. But they are not uncontested. Within the EU, several member states propose to reintroduce border controls and to restrict access for EU citizens who claim social assistance. Similar tensions and attempts to discourage freedom of movement also exist in other political systems, and the article gives examples from the United States and Canada. Within democratic states, particularly federal ones and others where decentralized jurisdictions are responsible for social welfare provision, it thus appears that some citizens can be more equal than others. Principles such as benefit portability, prohibition of residence requirements for access to programs or rights, and mutual recognition of qualifications and credentials facilitate the free flow of people within states and reflect the attempt to eliminate internal borders. Within the growing field of migration studies, most research focuses on international migration, movement between states, involving international borders. But migration across jurisdictional boundaries within states is at least as important as international migration. Within the European Union, free movement often means changing residence across jurisdictional boundaries within a political system with a common citizenship, even though EU citizenship is not traditional national citizenship. The EU is thus a good test of the tension between the equality promised by common citizenship and the diversity institutionalized by borders.

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2013-01-01
2016-12-06

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