Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where not all citizens are equal...

Back in October, I was thinking of the different labels that fix as us part of the body of the nation or outsiders to this body. Today, I was reminded of these labels, albeit in a different context. Apparently, the Canadian government tries to keep a Canadian citizen away from Canada because he is on the US no-fly list.

Senior Canadian intelligence officials warned against allowing Abousfian Abdelrazik a Canadian citizen to return home from Sudan because it could upset the Bush administration, classified documents reveal. (Globe and Mail, July 24, 2008)

I have no idea who this guy is, why he's on the no-fly list. I'm not aware of his politics, nor do I know whether he has ties in Sudan. But I am interested in this idea that a government can keep a citizen out of the country. What is the relation between citizens and states? What is the relation between governments and citizens? And how is this relation in the context of imperialistic relations? What about accountability of the government - is it in front of the imperial power (and then the principles of the Westphalian order need to be requestioned) or in front of the citizens (as liberal democracy would have it)?

Of course, my own stereotypes kick in: I'm curious if this guy is indeed treated like this because he's a naturalized Canadian. Or even a first generation Canadian from immigrant parents. Whether he has ties with Sudan - and whether these ties are in any way part of the reason why this is happening to him.

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites