The paradoxes of citizenship removal: Soviet and post-soviet citizenship

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3 Scopus citations


The Soviet Union and post-communist states are outstanding case studies of the changing meaning of expatriation and citizenship. The historical shifts in voluntary and forced expatriation and the relationship between the two signify the changing perceptions of citizenship. Although there appears to be a disjunction between the two periods, I argue that this difference is mainly in scale and is symbolic rather than a transformation of the philosophical principle that allows free movement and free emigration. Both philosophically and legally, the right to exit one's country and emigrate is considered a basic democratic human right. However, like all philosophical and actual manifestations of this right, during both the communist and post-communist periods the right to leave was conditional. Similarly, most post-communist countries adhere to the traditional conception of citizenship that sees dual citizenship as a violation of the exclusiveness of national political membership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-810
Number of pages19
JournalEast European Politics and Societies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Citizenship
  • Forced expatriation
  • Post-communist states
  • Soviet Union
  • Voluntary expatriation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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