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10 Postnational Reverberations Migration has become a way of life for many in the latter part of the twentieth century. The large-scale displacement of peoples from the rural to the urban or across nations has heightened the precariousness of arbitrary boundaries while fueling contemporary identifications with ossified national identities. The 1970s in particular witnessed a global reconfiguration of national citizenship. As new nations contended with older ones, new geopolitical arrangements—neocolonialism, globalization, structural adjustment—shifted relations of power in less unilateral directions, creating multiple nodes of transnational interrelatedness. In the process, peoples around the world have aspired to conceptions of world citizenship while also asserting their particular social identities. With increased democratization of citizen rights across many states since the end of the Cold War, and the tendency toward permitting more individualistic expressions of self in formerly collectivist or socialist societies, the notion of citizenship practically begs consideration.1 For a critical examination of contemporary citizenship, the decade of the 1970s resounds with particular historic significance. It was the moment of rupture in former relations of power and knowledge for postcolonial states as well as for Western states radically renegotiating conceptions of democratic citizenship. Minority rights movements in Canada, the United 5 153 5 States, and Britain were inspired by the revolutionary struggles for political and economic rights in Tanzania, India, and other Third World countries . The relation between national and social development–experimented with in Cuba, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana—was thrust onto the world stage. Some postcolonial ideologies of the ’70s attempted to develop alternative, sustainable modernities outside the networks of consumption driving the emergent global economy. The impact of the 1970s as a moment of political experimentation that offered tenuous articulations of these alternative modernities is a littletheorized aspect of our cultural history. As a period, it generated new kinds of pan-identities that were broader than the borders of the nation and linked more intimately with notions of alternative circuits of political networks, whether socialist, nonaligned, anti-imperial, Third Worldist, or regionally transnational. The 1970s laid the groundwork for the current mechanisms of globalization through which many Third World states continue to operate. As these chapters demonstrate, the past thirty years mark a visible shift away from empire to an interdependent, geopolitically demarcated system of local, national, and transnational citizenships. These cultural flows attest to the fact that they are not determined entirely by the relations of center and periphery, where “the West” is always the point of arrival but, rather, by different micronetworks of circulation through which legal, political , and cultural citizenships are negotiated. The relationship between First World economies and formerly Second World socialist and communist publics is complicated by considering kung fu cinema, soul music, and Black British dramatic works. The point is not to privilege these cultural activities as categorical examples that represent a singular national experience . On the contrary, they are tenuous forms—transient, publicly consumed , of the moment, and dispersed. For that reason, they interrupt the coherence of the state and the privileging of national boundaries in the reading of a particular historical moment. They work as symptomatic instances of how the relation of state to minor citizen transpires through transnational networks.2 Modern migrations, urban and translocal, have played out the full extent of the borderlands between the legal, cultural, and political, while revealing a largely inarticulable informal dimension to citizenship as a lived practice. These movements of people across geopolitical borders have blurred the discrete categories of the “civil element,” “political element ,” and “social element” laid out by Thurgood Marshall as a schema for twentieth-century citizenship. In Marshall’s genealogy, social rights emerge P o s t n a t i o n a l R e v e r b e r a t i o n s 5 154 5 as a result of the tumultuous democratization processes of this century.3 While Marshall’s structural separation of the political, social, and civil aspects of contemporary citizenship is far from the blurry lived reality of citizen-subjects as entities acted on and embodied within the state, the contingent ways in which each of these categories continue to operate as discursive frameworks cannot be dismissed. The impact of modern migrations on the idea of citizenship as a juridical category has been a reworking of concepts such as legal, political, and cultural citizenship to find their points of intersection. Dislocated communities , refugees of dissolved nations, immigrants many times displaced, locals relocated to...


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