Sovereignty and the Rights of Non-Citizens

In parallel to my work on democracy and state formation, I am interested in the tensions between popular sovereignty and the rights of non-citizens. Some of my research on this topic has looked at how liberal democracies enact policies of immigrant selection that produce patterns of discrimination against their own citizens. Other work looks at how democratic participation became tied to nationality and the discursive strategies that actors are using to challenge nationality as a legitimate criterion for political exclusion.


Ellermann, Antje and Agustín Goenaga. (2019). “Discrimination and Policies of Immigrant Selection in Liberal States”, Politics & Society, Vol. 47(1), 87-116.

Goenaga, Agustín. (2019). “Defending Popular Sovereignty: Discursive Conflict in French and Swedish Parliamentary Debates on Immigrant Voting Rights (1968-2017)’‘, Citizenship Studies, online first.


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