The Rise of Denationalisation: Citizenship Revocation on Grounds of Misconduct or Disloyalty

Bidragets oversatte titel: Denationalisering: Fratagelse af statsborgerskab på baggrund af adfærd eller illoyalitet

Publikation: AfhandlingPh.d.-afhandling


Can a state revoke citizenship from its own nationals? Over the past two decades, this question has become increasingly relevant as Western liberal democracies have re- introduced denationalisation – citizenship revocation on grounds of misconduct or disloyalty – to mitigate the threat of terrorism. Most recently, fears of Western radicalised citizens or ‘foreign fighters’, returning from abroad after having joined Islamic extremist terrorist organisations, has led to a majority of Western states reviving or introducing denationalisation, enabling the state to either expel them from national territory or prevent them from returning home from abroad.
In a contemporary context, however, denationalisation is an extreme measure of state power with a dark history and while some states limit the authority to revoke citizenship to the judiciary and require a prior criminal conviction for terrorist offences, an increasing number of denationalisation decisions are taken administratively without prior criminal conviction. While the proliferation of the human rights system has universalised many of the rights previously attributed to citizenship, denationalisation has profound consequences as citizenship remains the only legal status denoting a full membership’ to the political community, ensuring inter alia residency rights and electoral rights along with a sense of belonging, security and identity.
Accentuated by these developments, this dissertation offers a critical examination of the extent to which denationalisation is compatible with binding norms of international law such as prohibitions of statelessness, discrimination and arbitrariness, and the right to private and family life and procedural rights and subsequently, whether current denationalisation practices in the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Denmark conform to established standards of binding international law.
In addition, this dissertation offers two normative and theoretical perspectives. The first examines within the framework of political theory whether denationalisation is within the authority of state. The second offers a critical examination of the moral justification of denationalisation as a response to acts of terrorism.
Bidragets oversatte titelDenationalisering: Fratagelse af statsborgerskab på baggrund af adfærd eller illoyalitet
  • Vedsted-Hansen, Jens, Hovedvejleder, Ekstern person
  • Ersbøll, Eva, Bivejleder, Ekstern person
Dato for forsvar6. maj 2021
StatusUdgivet - 1. feb. 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • statsborgerskab
  • menneskeret
  • retsfilosofi
  • strafferet
  • International law