Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Ashley Mantha-Hollands

Ashley Mantha-Hollands

BGSS Generation 2019



Exploring the ‘right’ to citizenship: a new approach to ‘genuine links’ 


Prof. Liav Orgad


Ever since Aristotle, political theorists have posited on the nature of the bond (tie, connection, attachment) that links a citizen to a polity. The supposition is that there must be “something” that connects a person to a state. However, there is little agreement on what that “something” should be, which has consequently raised issues in justice, equality, fairness, and human rights. International law has been silent on the issue. This is perplexing due to the international nature of citizenship sometimes referred to as an ‘international filing system’. Even with over 281 million global migrants, states are still the main actors in determining who can become a legally recognized citizen. Cutting across the areas of citizenship studies, political theory, and international law, this project explores the content of the link between citizen and state by unpacking the research question: who has a right to citizenship? First, conceptually, I develop a novel framework for citizen-state links. Second, empirically, I survey both national citizenship and case law to identify which links transform into formal belonging. And third, normatively, I produce customary principles for an international law of citizenship according to moral and ethical standards.


Recent Publications
Ashley Mantha-Hollands and Liav Orgad, “Citizenship at a crossroad,” International Journal of Constitutional Law (2021).
Ashley Mantha-Hollands, “The Different Sounds of Instrumental Citizenship,” GLOBALCIT Review Symposium, 2020.
Ashley Mantha-Hollands and Liav Orgad, “The Future of Handshaking”, Verfassungsblog, May 2020.

Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB)

IC-LAW project