Normative theorists have not established firm grounds on which to reject states’ powers to revoke citizenship. State sovereignty over membership or democratic self-determination may seem to justify such powers. Liberal arguments of contract or conditionality of citizenship may also seem to allow revocation on many of the grounds increasingly invoked. The author of this article argues that a republican non-domination perspective, aiming to minimise domination – subjection to arbitrary interference – provides a strong presumption against states’ powers to revoke citizenship of those subject to their authority, even where this does not render them stateless. Here the fundamental rationale of citizenship status is secure protection from domination. Losing citizenship removes a person’s security against many kinds of state interference, exposes them to an increased risk of private domination by other agents, and constitutes an exercise of arbitrary power, imposing a new and unequal status of alien, and reducing the security of citizenship itself.
Iseult Honohan, Just what’s wrong with losing citizenship? Examining revocation of citizenship from a non-domination perspective, Citizenship Studies, 2019.