The Scramble for Citizens

Dual Nationality and State Competition for Immigrants

by David Cook-Martin

It is commonly assumed that there is an enduring link between individuals and their countries of citizenship. Plural citizenship is therefore viewed with skepticism, if not outright suspicion. But the effects of widespread global migration belie common assumptions, and the connection between individuals and the countries in which they live cannot always be so easily mapped.

In The Scramble for Citizens, David Cook-Martín analyzes immigration and nationality laws in Argentina, Italy, and Spain since the mid 19th century to reveal the contextual dynamics that have shaped the quality of legal and affective bonds between nation-states and citizens. He shows how the recent erosion of rights and privileges in Argentina has motivated individuals to seek nationality in ancestral homelands, thinking two nationalities would be more valuable than one. This book details the legal and administrative mechanisms at work, describes the patterns of law and practice, and explores the implications for how we understand the very meaning of citizenship.


  • Stanford University Press; January 2013
  • ISBN: 9780804784757
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: The Scramble for Citizens
  • Author: David Cook-Martin
  • Imprint: Stanford University Press

In The Press

"This is a well written and thoroughly researched book. While it is empirically grounded, it adopts innovative theoretical and conceptual approaches in a burgeoning field. The Scramble for Citizens would appeal to students and scholars in sociology, politics, anthropology, geography, migration, and diaspora studies."


About The Author

David Cook-Martín is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College.