|dc.description.abstract||For years, overseas Taiwanese and Tibetan exiles have faced constant identity difficulties as a result of their contested citizenship. Citizenship is a complex status containing socio-legal meanings. It may denote a membership between people and the state and “the right to have other rights (Arendt, 1961)." Even though citizenship is crucial for people to access rights, it can also be fluid and unstable, especially for those related to contested sovereignty states. This socio-legal research analyses the contested citizenship and the predicaments faced by those without full citizenship, by focusing on the cases of the Tibetan exiles in Taiwan and the overseas Taiwanese. Taiwanese people face denial of citizenship randomly when travelling across national borders, while Tibetan exiles confront confusion about citizenship during the process of migration to Taiwan. The unstable and liminal character of citizenship may cause statelessness due to the geopolitical power between China and Taiwan and the conflicts of self-identification among these ethnic groups. To show how individuals experience and react to the debates on citizenship, I conducted semi-structured interviews with people who struggled with the uncertainty of citizenship in the process of travel, migration and settlement; the stories depict people’s agency and the legal mobilisation through which they exercise citizenship acts countering the challenges of liminal citizenship in social movements and daily lives.
Current research fails to reflect on the issue of statelessness in the context of the long-standing instability and tensions connected to Taiwan's international standing, the controversies and conflicts within Taiwan itself, and the relevant concrete true-life experiences of actual stateless persons. My research fills this gap by highlighting the productive character of statelessness for people who are therefore able to eschew an undesired legal identity and to maintain the possibility of regaining the desired one. Thus, with the fluid citizenship status, statelessness may be used not just as an equivalent to lack of citizenship, but as an expression of people that is cultivated from the lack of full citizenship for demanding different identities. For a better understanding to the complexity of citizenship, I apply Nancy Fraser’s theories of justice to examine recognition, redistribution and representation of citizenship, and then discuss how these three dimensions are constructed in today's democratic
regime to dynamically formulate citizenship not only by the legal system or bureaucracy which presents state power, but also by the people.||en