Understood simply, people are either citizens of a country or stateless. Yet reality belies this dichotomy. Between absolute statelessness and full citizenship exist millions of people who are nationals of a country in principle but lack the identity documents to prove it, beginning with a birth certificate. Languishing in a gray zone, undocumented nationals have difficulty accessing the full services and rights that their documented counterparts enjoy. Drawing on a range of country examples, the author of this book calls attention to and analyses the plight of people who cannot exercise full citizenship owing to evidentiary deficiencies. The existing literature has not adequately conceptualised and examined this in-between status, which results sometimes from state neglect and other times from intentional state discrimination.
Wendy Hunter, Undocumented Nationals. Between Statelessness and Citizenship, Cambridge University Press, 2019.