Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Negotiating Extra-Territorial Citizenship: Mexican Migration and the Transnational Politics of Community

David Scott FitzGerald
ISBN: 978-0-97028-382-5
2000/122 pages
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies Monographs
Distributed for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego


The dominant nation-state model of citizenship, in which political identity and state territory are congruent, is increasingly unable to resolve the contradictions created by global mass migration. Fitzgerald's careful ethnographic fieldwork in Michoacán, Mexico, and Southern California supports a process-based model of extra-territorial citizenship, in which migrants claim citizenship in their places of origin even when they are physically absent.

Fitzgerald explains why many Mexican migrants based in the United States want to be "taken into account" in the politics and development of their home communities. He focuses on the consequences of "transnational" political attitudes and behavior for migrant-sending communities. The analysis has important implications for proposals being discussed in Mexico to extend voting rights in Mexican elections to migrants based abroad and to give them representation in the Mexican Congress. The monograph is written in a highly accessible style and is illustrated with numerous photographs by the author.


David Scott FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in US-Mexican Relations, professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and co-director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD.