Research

Updated: Posted by kbanerjee

 

My recent projects beyond my dissertation research include co-editing the collected volume "Emotions in Context" (University of Toronto Press, 2016) as well as co-writing a piece with Dr. Jeffrey Bercuson entitled "Affect and Emotion in the work of John Rawls”. I also have a co-authored paper written with Mauricio Suchowlansky currently under review entitled "Between Citizen and Subject: Placing the People in Machiavelli’s Political Imagination" which traces the concept of the people in the Florentine's work. An early draft of this project as it was presented at APSA 2013 is available on SSRN here. A final work in progress is a co-authored piece with C.D. Smith entitled "States Behaving Badly: State Practice & Bad Norms in the International Refugee Regime" which we have presented at conferences and which is currently under review.

Doctoral Research

Updated: August 8, 2014Posted by kbanerjee

 
Dissertation title:
"Rethinking Membership: Statelessness, Domination, and the Limits of Contemporary Citizenship"

Committee:
Prof. Nancy Bertoldi (Co-Supervisor); Prof. Joseph Carens (Co-Supervisor); Prof. Ryan Balot


This project focuses on the complex landscape of our contemporary global order in which national sovereignty and human rights sit in uneasy tension. The injustices arising from this conflict emerge most clearly in the position of refugees. As individuals caught outside of communities in a world where nation states are the guardians of citizenship and the sole enforcers of human rights, refugees are one of the most vulnerable groups of our time. Such individuals are in the paradoxical position of having no nation state to enforce their human rights: they are, in effect, rightless. Taking up this problem, this project analyzes how the causes of statelessness can be traced to the way that weunderstand citizenship: the citizen is a member of a state, which is solely responsible for protecting its rights. By definition, the refugee is not a member of a state; can the refugee really be said to have rights? I argue that our current conception of citizenship and the spread of the nation state as a form of community can help explain statelessness and the puzzling limits of universal human rights. Furthermore, I argue that the extreme case of refugees sheds light on broader patterns of injustice within our citizenship practices, whether in immigration policy or in the way global inequality is understood. The project goes on to recommend meaningful ways in which we can address these sources of injustice. Using recent democratic theory, I propose a critique of exclusion within liberal democratic societies that shows how commitments already grounded in our practices of civic citizenship demand a new notion of the bounds of community. However, attempting to create inclusiveness out of our commitment to democracy remains problematic- for as the case of statelessness emphasizes, it is just those who are most excluded that need their voice to be heard. Because of this, my project proposes new forms of solidarity as part of the project of re-imagining our notions of citizenship.

Publications and Works in Progress

 

“Rawls, Race and the Meso-Level Sources of Domination” (with Abraham Singer) (Under Review).

“States Behaving Badly: State Practice and Bad Norms in the International Refugee Regime” (with C. D. Smith) (Under Review).

“Citizens, Subjects or Tyrants? Relocating the People in Pocock’s The Machiavellian Moment” (with M. Suchowlansky) History of European Ideas (2016). (Peer Reviewed)

“Foreword,” Journal Symposium: “‘The Machiavellian Moment’ Turns Forty: Rethinking JGA Pocock’s Intellectual Legacy” (with M. Suchowlansky) History of European Ideas (2016). (Peer Reviewed)

“Envy, Shame and Self-Respect: Situating the Emotions in the Work of John Rawls,” (J. Bercuson) in Emotions in Context, eds., Rebecca Kingston, Kiran Banerjee, James McKee, Yi-Chun Chien. University of Toronto Press (2016). (Peer Reviewed)

“Introduction,” in Emotions in Context, eds., Rebecca Kingston, Kiran Banerjee, James McKee, Yi-Chun Chien. University of Toronto Press (2016). (Peer Reviewed)

“Rawls on the Embedded Self: Liberalism as an Affective Regime” (with J. Bercuson) European Journal of Political Theory (2014). (Peer Reviewed)

“Toward Postnational Membership? Tensions and Transformation in German and EU Citizenship,” Journal of International Law and International Relations, Vol 9, 3 (2014). (Peer Reviewed)

“Genealogy, History, Human Rights; Review of 'The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History' by Samuel Moyn” Journal of International Law and International Relations, Vol 7 (2012). [Read]

"Negotiating the Claim to Inclusion: Statelessness and the Contestation of the Limits of Citizenship" Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 7, 2011. [Read]

“Political Community of Fate or Postnational State? Tensions and Transformation in Contemporary German Citizenship” Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 7, 2011. [Read]

“Re-theorizing Human Rights through the Refugee: On the Interrelation Between Democracy and Global Justice,” Refuge: Canada’s Periodical on Refugees, Vol 27, No 1 (2010). (Peer Reviewed) [Read]

Media and Public Lectures

 

“Human Migration and the Changing Demographics of Canada” invited speaker for Spur Festival Toronto, Canada, 2016.

“Ideas from the Trenches - Refuge” CBC/Radio-Canada, 2015.

“Syrian refugees: 3 radical approaches to solving the crisis” CBC News, 2015.

“A State for the Stateless: Kiran Banerjee on the International Refugee Crisis” Student Blog: Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Toronto, Canada, 2014.

“Theorizing Citizenship” invited speaker for the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice Speaker Series, Toronto, Canada, 2014.

“Democracy, Human Rights and the Contemporary Crisis of Citizenship” invited speaker for Royal Society of Canada 2011 Symposium, Ottawa, Canada, 2011.

Presentations

 

“Theorizing the Ethics of Forced Migration Beyond the State” to be presented at the International Studies Association - Human Rights, New York City, USA, 2016.

“Rawls, Race, and the Basic Structure” presented at the Western Political Science Association, San Diego, USA, 2016.

"Germany, the EU, and the ambivalences of the current ‘migration crisis’" presented at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies Conference: "Who Is Europe? Majorities and Minorities in a Changing Landscape, Toronto, Canada, 2016.

“Rawls, Race, and the Basic Structure” presented at the Association for Political Theory, Boulder, USA, 2015.

“Statelessness & Non-domination: Toward a Transnational Theory of Neo-Republicanism” presented at the Canadian Political Science Association, Ottawa, Canada, 2015.

“Statelessness & Non-domination: Contributions to a Critical Theory of Republicanism” presented at Philosophy and the Social Sciences conference of the Institute of Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic, 2015.

“Statelessness & Non-Domination: A Normative Framework” presented at the University of Toronto Political Theory Research Workshop, Toronto, Canada, 2015.

“Re-theorizing Statelessness as Domination” presented at the Western Political Science Association Conference, Las Vegas, USA, 2015.

“Statelessness & Non-domination: Contributions to a Critical Theory of Republicanism” presented at the Fourth International Young Researcher's Conference, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 2014.

“Statelessness and Non-Domination: A Normative Framework” presented at the American Political Science Association Conference, Washington D.C., US, 2014.

“States Behaving Badly: State Practice & Bad Norms in the International Refugee Regime” (with C. D. Smith) presented at the American Political Science Association Conference, Washington D.C., US, 2014.

“A History of the Present: Theorizing Statelessness as Domination” presented at the Fourth World International Studies Committee Global International Studies Conference, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 2014.

“States Behaving Badly: State Practice & Bad Norms in the International Refugee Regime” (with C. D. Smith) presented at the ISA Human Rights Joint Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 2014.

“A History of the Present: Theorizing Statelessness as Domination” presented at the Canadian Political Science Association, St. Catherines, Canada, 2014.

“Citizenship, Political Economy & Political Philosophy—What Can we Learn?” presented at the 7th CLPE Conference Law and Political Economy at York University, Toronto, Canada, 2014.

"States Behaving Badly: State Practice & Bad Norms in the International Refugee Regime" (with C. D. Smith) presented at the International Studies Association Conference, Toronto, ON, 2014.

"Between Citizen and Subject: Placing the People in Machiavelli’s Political Imagination" (with M. Suchowlansky) presented at the American Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, USA, 2013.

"Rethinking Membership: Statelessness, Domination, and the Limits of Contemporary Citizenship" presented at Philosophy and the Social Sciences conference of the Institute of Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic, 2013.

“Postnationalism in Europe? Tensions and Transformation in Contemporary German Citizenship” presented at Germany’s immigration and integration experience - Lessons for Canada, University of Ottawa, Canada, 2012.

“EU Citizenship in Europe & Germany: Normative implications of a ‘Postnational’ future” presented at the Future of EU Citizenship conference, York University, Toronto 2012.

“Postnationalism in Europe? The case of Germany” presented at the Canadian Political Science Association, Edmonton 2012.

“Postnationalism in Europe? Exclusions in Contemporary German Citizenship” presented at the University of Toronto Political Theory Workshop, Toronto 2012.

“Self-determination, legitimation and human rights: Revisiting the “Asian Values” debate” presented at the Western Political Science Association Conference, Portland, US, 2012.

"Democracy, Human Rights and the Contemporary Crisis of Citizenship" presented at the Royal Society of Canada Symposium "Literacy and Citizenship in the 21st Century," Ottawa, Canada, 2011.

"Self-determination, Legitimation and Human Rights: Revisiting the 'Asian Values' Debate" presented at the East Asian Perspectives on Political Legitimacy Workshop, HK University, Hong Kong, China, 2011.

“Tracking the Persistence of Exclusions in Contemporary German Citizenship” presented at the Western Political Science Association Conference, San Antonio, US, 2011.

“Political Community of Fate or Postnational ‘State’? The Persistence of Exclusions in Contemporary German Citizenship” presented at the Midwestern Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, US, 2011.

"Political Community of Fate or Postnational ‘State’? Tensions and Transformations in German Citizenship” presented at the Toronto Group Conference for the Study of International, Transnational, & Comparative Law, Toronto, 2011.

"Toward a Republican Liberalism: Addressing Non-Domination's Exclusionary Entanglements" presented at the 2010 American Political Science Association Conference, Washington D.C., USA, 2010.

“Beyond the Boundaries of Law and the Borders of States: Remarks on a Relational Theory of Human Rights & Democratic Sovereignty” presented at Thinking (With)Out Borders, St Andrews, UK, July 2-3, 2010.

“Impossible Frontiers: The Problem with Sovereignty and Human Rights as Conditions of Self-Determination”presented at ‘Capital, Connections, Control’ Congress of Humanities & Social Sciences, Montreal 2010.

“Beyond the Boundaries of Law & the Borders of States: Remarks on a Relational Theory of Human Rights & Democratic Sovereignty” presented at the Canadian Political Science Association, Montreal June 1-3, 2010.

“Avoiding Democratic Exclusion: Arendt on the Burdens of Political Judgment” presented at the Midwestern Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, US, 2010.

"The Claim to Inclusion: Statelessness and the Contestation of the Limits of Citizenship” presented at the Toronto Group Conference for the Study of International, Transnational, & Comparative Law, Toronto, 2010.

“Statelessness and the Contestation of Community: On the Interrelation Between Democracy and Global Justice” presented at the 2009 American Political Science Association Conference, Toronto, 2009.

“Tarrying with the Other: Arendt on Political Judgment & Democratic Inclusion” presented at the 4th International CLPE Conference, Knowledge in Labor, Work and Action, at York University, Toronto, 2009.

“Democracy and the Limit(ation)s of Citizenship: Towards a Contestatory Model of Democratic Inclusion” presented at the Midwestern Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, 2009.

“Statelessness & the Contestation of Community: A Reply to Arendt's Critique of the Nation State” presented at the Future(s) of Critical Theory Conference at University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 2009.

“Beyond the bounds of Community: Democracy and the Refugee as a Site of Tension” presented at Refugees and the Insecure Nation: Managing Forced Migration in Canada, inaugural CARFMS Conference, York University’s Center for Refugee Studies, 2008.

“Re-theorizing Human Rights through the Refugee: On Arendt’s Critique of the Nation State” presented at Lives in Motion: The Transitional and Transnational Status of Displacement Conference, York University's Center for Refugee Studies, 2008.

"States of Fear: Re-conceiving International Sex Trafficking Policy Beyond Identities of Victimhood" presented at the University of Virginia’s Graduate Student Conference, 2008.

“On Arendt’s Critique of Human Nature & Absolute Sovereignty: Towards a Politics of Human Rights” presented at Northwestern University's ‘Second Nature’ Conference, 2007.

Curriculum Vitae

 

Updated: 5/2015: (Download PDF)