240 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 2020 | ISBN 9780812252156 | $59.95s | Outside the Americas £48.00
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism
View table of contents and excerpt
"The American Passport in Turkey is a fascinating contribution to our understanding of the place of citizenship in the wake of globalization."—Peter J. Spiro, Temple UniversityAn ethnographic exploration of the meaning of national citizenship in the context of globalization
"In our day and age of rising inequalities and insecurities, Özlem Altan-Olcay and Evren Balta offer an important and original exploration of the meaning of national citizenship, especially that of a hegemonic world power, in the context of increased globalization and transnationalism."—Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat, University of Connecticut
The American Passport in Turkey explores the diverse meanings and values that people outside of the United States attribute to U.S. citizenship, specifically those who possess or seek to obtain U.S. citizenship while residing in Turkey. Özlem Altan-Olcay and Evren Balta interviewed more than one hundred individuals and families and, through their narratives, shed light on how U.S. citizenship is imagined, experienced, and practiced in a setting where everyday life is marked by numerous uncertainties and unequal opportunities. When a Turkish mother wants to protect her daughter's modern, secular upbringing through U.S. citizenship, U.S. citizenship, for her, is a form of insurance for her daughter given Turkey's unknown political future. When a Turkish-American citizen describes how he can make a credible claim of national belonging because he returned to Turkey yet can also claim a cosmopolitan Western identity because of his U.S. citizenship, he represents the popular identification of the West with the United States. And when a natural-born U.S. citizen describes with enthusiasm the upward mobility she has experienced since moving to Turkey, she reveals how the status of U.S. citizenship and "Americanness" become valuable assets outside of the States.
Offering a corrective to citizenship studies where discussions of inequality are largely limited to domestic frames, Altan-Olcay and Balta argue that the relationship between inequality and citizenship regimes can only be fully understood if considered transnationally. Additionally, The American Passport in Turkey demonstrates that U.S. global power not only reveals itself in terms of foreign policy but also manifests in the active desires people have for U.S. citizenship, even when they do not intend to live in the United States. These citizens, according to the authors, create a new kind of empire with borders and citizen-state relations that do not map onto recognizable political territories.
Özlem Altan-Olcay is Associate Professor of Political Science at Koç University.
Evren Balta is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ozyegin University.