Introduction: securitization and shrinking of citizenship

Guy Ben-Porat, As'ad Ghanem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Arab Spring provides for a comparative study and debate on Citizenship, its expansion, and shrinkage. Ironically, the demands for citizenship in the Middle East have risen in a period when the model of liberal citizenship in established democracies appears to be in crisis. The grim results of the Arab Spring had influences beyond the region as instability, militant Islam, and civil wars drove many to seek refuge in Europe and underscored new debates on citizenship and belonging, often questioning the European liberal creed of citizenship, a model for some of the protestors in the Middle East. Right wing parties across the continent gained popularity by demanding to restore or instill an ethno-national citizenship regime. Securitization, a discourse that emphasizes ‘danger’ to the stability and public order of society, led governments to undertake steps to stave off potential challenges to their control of the state and hegemony over the public sphere and restrict citizenship access and rights. Thus, across the Middle East and Europe, a new phenomenon that we label the ‘Shrinking nature of Citizenship’, the decline and reduction of the rights of certain segments of society, has taken place, in different forms and with different oppositions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-871
Number of pages11
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - 17 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Arab spring
  • Securitization
  • fundamentalism
  • immigration
  • shrinking citizenship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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