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Migration and Citizenship - AOTEAROA - APMRN
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Stephen Castles and Paul Spoonley

Asia-Pacific Migration Research Network, 1997
Published by Department of Sociology, Massey University - Albany, Auckland


1. Introduction

2. Globalisation and the Ambiguities of National Citizenship Stephen Castles

3. Migration and the Reconstruction of Citizenship in Late Twentieth Century Aotearoa Paul Spoonley


The Asia-Pacific Migration Research Network was formally established at a meeting at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, in March 1996. Delegates from nearly all of the countries involved discussed, and agreed upon, a plan of action which met the stated objectives. Following this, an inaugural meeting of a New Zealand Migration Research Network was held as part of a Wellington meeting of the University of Waikato’s Demographic Crossroads programme in October 1996. One of the key originators of APMRN, Stephen Castles, was present, and the following day, the two papers reproduced here were presented at a seminar at Massey University - Albany. These two meetings, and this publication, mark the establishment of a New Zealand Migration Research Network and what we hope is a productive network of researchers and those active in the field of immigration.

The New Zealand network is part of a local contribution to the international network. It is designed to encourage discussion about current and future research, and to include those responsible for policy analysis and implementation as well as researchers. The network will hopefully contribute to the exchange of information between researcher and policy analyst that will advance the understanding of what is needed in terms of relevant research as well as effective immigration and post-migration policies.

Immigration and migration is an area of vital national and local importance, which attracts widespread interest. The debate about which migrants, and how many, has been politicised at regular intervals in New Zealand history. The arrival of significantly more East Asians since 1990 has attracted opposition and a new period of anti-Asian sentiments. One notable aspect is the tendency to favour emotion over facts, and to ignore some of the existing research or available data on immigration. It has also highlighted the need for considerably more research and more adequate policy development. It is our ambition that the network might play a role in helping contribute to both areas of development.

    Richard Bedford and Paul Spoonley
    January 1997


    Stephen Castles
    Centre for Multicultural Studies
    University of Wollongong

This paper discusses the challenges to citizenship presented by globalisation, the international mobility of people, and the growing ethnocultural diversity within countries. I will argue that basing citizenship on singular and individual membership in a nation-state is no longer adequate, since the nation-state model itself is being severely eroded. Instead, new approaches to citizenship are needed, which take account of collective identities and the fact that many people now belong to more than one society. Such reforms should be linked to measures which improve the quality of political participation by permitting more democracy in more places 1.

Until a few years ago, being a citizen was just a matter of common-sense in the fortunate minority of the world's countries considered as democracies. Being a citizen meant having the rights to vote and to stand for political office, enjoying equality before the law, and being entitled to various government services and benefits. It also meant having the obligation to obey the laws, to pay taxes, and to defend your country. The rest of the world aspired to this model. As the President of Mongolia, Punsalmaaggiyu Orchirbat said when he visited Paris, the symbolic birthplace of the modern nation: 'In 1990 we embarked on a great journey to join the common course of mankind—democracy and human rights, the market economy and economic development' (Le Monde/Guardian Weekly, 5 May 1996). Those were the icons of progress.

But there are signs that citizenship has become problematic in recent years. Several countries have changed their rules for access to citizenship for immigrants and other minorities. New countries emerging from the dissolving multi-ethnic states of real socialism have sought to establish appropriate rules of citizenship. Other new countries forged out of former colonies have dissolved into anarchy, due to the failure to build an inclusive national identity and a stable state. Citizenship has become the focus of political and academic discourse. Various social movements’ claims that reforming citizenship could help solve major social problems. Why this sudden interest in something that seemed so obvious? Is it the result of changes in the political and social context? Or have we become sensitive to problems implicit in the common-sense notion of citizenship?

The answer is both. The global context of citizenship is changing dramatically, but so is the way we perceive it. These two trends are linked: there have always been some fundamental ambiguities in the notion of citizenship, but these did not seem to matter as long as the political context appeared coherent and stable. That context was, of course, the nation-state. The current crisis of citizenship is thus closely linked with the challenges facing the nation-state model at the end of the twentieth century. These affect—in specific ways—not only the nation-states of Western Europe, but also the nation-building societies of North America and Oceania, and the new industrial countries of Asia and Latin America.


Globalisation and the Nation-State

The essence of the nation-state is the institution of citizenship: the integration of all its inhabitants into the political community, and their political equality as citizens. Of course, relatively few nations match this democratic ideal. How many countries have not had a violent change in government during the 20th century? I can only think of seven! In how many states do the people really have a choice about who forms the government and what it does? But most heads of state claim their country is democratic, and most politically-aware people aspire to this.

The European and North American nation-states that emerged from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries were astonishingly effective, both in internal and external terms. Their political systems facilitated the integration of diverse groups into cohesive populations and provided the conditions for capitalist industrialisation. They were able to dominate and colonise the rest of the world, and to impose economic relations and cultural values which were to transform all the disparate societies and bring them into a global system. The nation-states continued the work of the great centralising monarchies: Spain, Portugal, France and England. But they quickly transcended the absolutist model, marginalising those countries that did not make the transition to the modern nation-state on time. Colonialism was crucial to the emerging nation-states: exploiting the natural resources and the labour power of dominated peoples made industrialisation possible. When the 'late nations' like Germany and Italy began to seek 'their place in the sun', and the colonised peoples demanded freedom, the result was evident in the conflicts which were to lead to the most violent century in history.

This dialectic of progress and violence indicates some of the ambivalences inherent in the nation-state model. Can it work if all the societies of the world constitute themselves as nation-states and seek equality in a global system? Or is it premised on the domination of weaker countries, and the stigmatisation and exclusion of the Other? It is vital to deconstruct the contradictions of the nation-state model, if we are to find ways of achieving more democratic types of citizenship and more equitable and peaceful international relations. However, my aim is more modest: to analyse just one aspect of the nation-state citizenship in the light of some of the ways in which it is being questioned and reshaped by current global transformations. In an oversimplified way, one can point to three main aspects of the effects of globalisation on citizenship.

First, globalisation breaks the territorial principle, the nexus between power and place. The 'national industrial society', as it evolved in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, articulated society, state and nation in a particular form. Society referred to an economic and social system based on rational principles, within a bounded national territory. The state referred to a political system based on secular (and usually democratic) principles, capable of regulating economic and political relations. The nation referred to a 'people defined both on the basis of belonging to the territory of the state and having a common cultural and ethnic background (Lapeyronnie et al, 1990: 258-62). Thus politics, the economy, social relations and culture were congruent in that they all took the nation-state as their main point of reference. The whole of classical sociology takes this 'national society' for granted. Even the critics of capitalism based their politics on national units; social-democratic demands for economic reform and welfare policies addressed the state; communists called for world revolution, but were organised nationally.

Today, we can observe a 'decomposition of national industrial societies' (Wieviorka, 1994: 25). The dynamics of economic life transcend national borders, and have become uncontrollable for national governments. The deindustrialisation of older industrial nations has led to profound economic and social changes. The nation-state is still the basic unit for welfare systems, but no government ran pursue welfare policies which ignore the dictates of global markets. This alters the terms for socialist parties: even if they can get elected to power, they may have to abandon their traditional objectives and adopt economic rationalism, as the experience of the Australian Labour Party Government of 1983-96 demonstrated so vividly. Capital may appear to have won the class struggle, but this does not lead to Fukuyama's (1992) 'end of history', but rather to forms of social and political disorganisation which threaten the security of the well-off and the stability of democratic states. What, then, does it mean to be a citizen, if the autonomy of the nation-state is being eroded, and the vote which one wields cannot influence key political decisions because they are no longer made by national parliaments?

The second aspect of globalisation is that it has undermined the ideology of relatively autonomous national cultures. These were always a myth, because virtually every nation-state has been made up of a number of ethnic groups, with distinct languages, traditions and histories. Homogenisation is at the core of the nationalist project. The internal Other has to be made into a national before he or she can become a citizen. As Ernest Renan pointed out in 1882 in his famous discourse, 'What is a Nation' (Renan, 1992), forgetting the history of ethnic distinctiveness and the (often repressive) process of overcoming it is vital to national identity. Moreover, no frontier has ever been completely impervious to cultural influences: even Enver Hodja's Albania could not completely encapsulate itself against the influences of western culture, as the rush to migrate to Italy after 1989 showed. All cultures are hybrids. Nonetheless, ideas of national cultural distinctiveness underpinned nation-building and patriotism.

Globalisation has changed all this: rapid improvements in transport and communications have led to an unprecedented degree of cultural interchange. The industrialisation of media production puts enormous pressure on national and local cultures. Dominance by global cultural factories, like Hollywood, means the diffusion of specific value systems, connected with consumerism, individualism and US life-styles. At the same time, however, we witness a re-ethnicisation of culture at a sub-national level. This trend appears as a form of resistance to both nationalisation and the globalisation of culture. Collectivities which constitute themselves around cultural claims may be based not only on ethnicity, but also on regional location, gender, sexual preferences and life styles. National culture is being squeezed between the global and the local.

The third aspect is the increasing mobility of people across national borders. The period since 1945, and especially since 1980, has been marked by large-scale migrations of all kinds: temporary and permanent movements; labour migrations and refugee exoduses; individual and family flows; highly-skilled specialists and manual workers. Such migrations have led to settlement in nearly all highly-developed countries, and in many parts of the less developed regions. Populations have become more heterogeneous and culturally diverse. Often, cultural difference and social marginalisation are closely linked, creating ethnic minorities with disadvantaged and relatively isolated positions in society (Castles and Miller, 1993).

The mobility of people has always been an inherent part of modernisation. Sailors, soldiers, traders, administrators and settlers were sent out to subjugate and manage the colonised Others, who were constructed through racist ideologies as inferior and threatening. As the flow of colonial profits back to the metropoles helped provide the capital for industrialisation, new mass migrations started. Once internal reserves dried up, workers were pulled in across national borders: Irish to Britain; Poles and Italians to Germany, France and Switzerland; and Eastern and Southern Europeans to the USA. These migrants were, to a large extent, eventually absorbed into the national populations and their children became citizens.

Two things are new about the current migrations. The first is their sheer scale and rapidity. The speed at which new ethnic minorities have emerged has confounded policy-makers and undermined laws and practices concerned with integration and citizenship. The second is the ethnocultural characteristics of many of the immigrants: they come from areas increasingly distant—not only in kilometres but in cultural terms. They often originate in former colonies or areas of military presence of the receiving countries: North and West Africans in France; Caribbeans, Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in Britain; Mexicans, Filipinos, Koreans and Vietnamese in the USA, and so on. But many migrants come from areas where the linkages are based on more tenuous forms of economic and cultural penetration: Arabs to the USA, Southeast Asians to Japan, Chinese to virtually all developed countries. The very historical success of the Western model in dominating the Third World now questions the nation-state, because it has led to linkages which facilitate not only the movement of capital and commodities, but also of people and ideas—in both directions.


Key Questions

The colonised Other is returning to the metropoles. In every city of western Europe and North America, ethnic heterogeneity has become an inescapable reality. This Other has no shared past with the people of the receiving society. The cultural background may be very different, such as the gulf between Christian and Islamic traditions. In the case of migrants from former colonies, the culture of the Other may partially mirror that of the receiving society; yet the dialectical unity of coloniser and colonised contains a fundamental difference in experience.

This raises crucial questions:

  • Can these Others be submitted to a process of acculturation (as were previous internal minorities) which will reduce them to nationals, and thus qualify them for membership in the nation-state?
  • Or is such a process unthinkable in the era of globalisation, with its multiple identities and diasporic communities? Has the pace of intermingling of ethnic groups become so rapid that there is no time for the process of forgetting different histories, which Renan saw as crucial to national identity?
  • Does this mean that the nation-state and citizenship will have to be modified to fit the new reality of the collective presence of the irreducible Other in multi-ethnic societies?
  • If so, what can be the characteristics of possible new forms of political belonging?
  • What political action is needed to develop these new forms?

But before discussing these questions, it is necessary to turn briefly to some problems implicit in the notions of the nation-state and citizenship.


Ambiguities of Citizenship

Citizenship is one of the key institutions of contemporary societies, at the very core of both democracy and national identity. Yet it has always been ambiguous in various ways. First, it implies not only inclusion, but also exclusion: citizenship of certain types of people implies non-citizenship of others. In the Greek polis, slaves, foreigners and above all women were excluded. In the modern states which emerged in the nineteenth century, the very size of the society precluded direct democracy. Suffrage was linked to the assumption of the capability of rational participation in the public sphere, and of representing people dependent upon oneself (women, children, servants and employees). In a wider sense, those elected to office had to be capable of representing the social category or interest group they derived from. Citizenship was restricted to male householders, belonging to the dominant religious and ethnic group. Political movements of excluded groups (women, workers, religious minorities, indigenous peoples) have seen access to the franchise as the main instrument of their emancipation.

Today the problem of formal exclusion from citizenship applies above all to immigrants. In the European Union (EU), there are about 13 million resident non-citizens, of whom eight million originate from outside the EU. Large numbers of them have actually been born in the country of residence, yet have not become citizens, due to the principle of ius sanguinis (nationality by descent). Even in North America and Australia, where naturalisation is easier to obtain, there are quite large numbers of resident non-citizens. These are people who belong to society as workers, tax-payers and parents, and yet are denied full political participation. Even illegal immigrants may be long-term residents, but do not enjoy many basic rights. This negates the basic principle of liberal democracy that all members of society should be included as citizens.

But there is another dimension, that of de facto exclusion: in most countries, there are significant groups, usually marked by ‘race’ ethnicity or being indigenous peoples, who are denied full participation as citizens. They may have the right to vote, but social, economic and cultural exclusion prevents genuine political participation. This situation is, in part, a reflection of the fact that the substantial meaning of citizenship itself has become extended in recent times as, civil and political rights have keen joined by social rights (Marshall, 1964). Put differently, a certain level of social and economic welfare is needed before people can take advantage of formal political rights. Today it may be argued that collective cultural rights needed to be added to Marshall's triad. De facto exclusion presents new challenges for the politics of inclusion, leading to calls for 'differential citizenship' (Young, 1989;1990) and 'multicultural citizenship' (Kymlicka, 1995).

A second ambiguity of citizenship concerns the relationship between rights and obligations. This is most evident in the close link between universal suffrage and universal military service. For instance, the French sociologist Dominique Schnapper's important work on citizenship constantly emphasises the notion of the 'warrior citizen' (Schnapper, 1994: 49). This link is problematic: it excludes women, who with a few exceptions (such as Israel) have not been seen as capable of defending their nation by violent means. It also implies that democratic nations can only be consolidated internally by hostility to external groups, ie. by constructing a Feindbild, or the concept of an enemy (see Hoffmann, 1994). Moreover, linking suffrage with conscription can be a means of excluding internal minorities, who may be accused of 'unclear loyalties' in the event of a conflict. A model of citizenship for a global society can hardly be based on the willingness to indulge in inter-state warfare, though it might require a willingness to support the use of force to prevent conflict or human-rights abuses— an issue that needs discussing.

Both the above ambiguities are the expression of a more fundamental contradiction: that between citizenship and nationality, or between the notion of the citizen as an individual abstracted from cultural characteristics, and that of the national as a member of a community with common cultural values. In liberal theory, all citizens are meant to be free and equal persons, who as citizens are homogeneous individuals (Rawls, 1985: 232-4). This requires a separation between a person's political rights and obligations, and their membership in specific groups, based on ethnicity, religion, social class or regional location. The political sphere is one of universalism, which means equality and abstraction from cultural particularity and difference. Difference is to be restricted to the 'non public identity' (Rawls, 1985: 241),

But this conflicts with the reality of nation-state formation, in which becoming a citizen has depended on membership in a community. The nation-state is the combination of a political unit which controls a bounded territory (the state) with a national community (the nation or people) which has the power to impose its political will within those boundaries. A citizen is always also a member of a nation, a national. So citizenship is meant to be universalistic and above cultural difference, yet it exists only in the context of a nation-state, which is based on cultural specificity: on the belief in being different from other nations. Historically, this tension has been expressed in measures to incorporate minority groups into the 'national culture'. Today, it is a major issue for indigenous peoples as well as for immigrants: can they only belong to the nation if they reject their own languages and traditions and conform to the dominant ones?

It is clearly vital to distinguish between the nation and the ethnic group. There are currently some 200 nation-states in the world, yet over 6000 languages (Moynihan, 1993: 72). Language is, in most cases, an indicator of a cultural community and thus frequently of an ethnic group; if even a fraction of these groups were to seek to become nations, the potential for conflict would be enormous. As Moynihan (1993: 63-106) shows, there is an inherent contradiction between two basic principles of the United Nations: the principle of national sovereignty and that of the self-determination of peoples.

But the difference between the nation and the ethnic group is not always obvious, especially in the Anglo-American literature. For instance, Seton Watson describes a nation as 'a community of people, whose members are bounded together by a sense of solidarity, a common culture, a national consciousness' (Seton-Watson, 1971: 1). Walker Connor defines a nation as 'a group of people who believe they are ancestrally related. It is the largest grouping that shares that belief' (Connor, 1991: 6, emphasis in original, quoted here from Moynihan, 1993: 1). Ethnicity is usually defined as a sense of group belonging based on ideas of common origins, history, culture, experience and values. Ethnicity is seen as 'cultural', in contra-distinction to 'biological' notions of ‘race’ (see Castles and Miller, 1993: 27).

The distinction between ethnic group and nation in Anglo-American interpretations is usually a practical one, based on sovereignty. An ethnic group that controls a bounded territory becomes a nation and establishes a nation-state. Factors of shared history and culture are then complemented by a common economy and legal system. Anthony Smith sums this up as follows:

    A nation can therefore be defined as a named human population sharing an historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass, public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members (Smith, 1991: 14).

But since there are few homogeneous nation-states, the question is how the varying ethnic groups in a territory are to be moulded into one nation. This may take place through the forcible imposition of the culture of the dominant group on the others, for instance through the prohibition of minority languages, schools and festivals, as in the case of present-day Kurds in Turkey. The process may be a more gradual and consensual one, in which groups grow together through economic and social interaction, and the development of a common language and shared institutions, such as schools, church and military service. There is a fine line between the nation based on repression and that based on historical consensus. Most have elements of both, and are open to subsequent challenge by movements of territorial minorities, as recent European history has shown.

Continental European views on the difference between nation and ethnic group have followed a rather different line, based on the famous distinction between the Kulturnation (cultural nation, also known as the ethnic nation) and the Staatsnation (state nation, also known as the civic nation). These notions developed as ideological expressions of the struggle for dominance between Germany and France in the nineteenth century.

Germany was a backward patchwork of principalities and mini-states with absolutist rulers until the end of eighteenth century. Nation-state formation did not come through internal impulses, but as a reaction to conquest by the Napoleonic armies. As Habermas points out, national consciousness was not based on democratic civil liberties and popular sovereignty, but on 'the romantically inspired middle-class notion of a Kulturnation, a nation defined by its culture' (Habermas, 1994: 146). Romanticism portrayed individuals as part of an organic whole; freedom meant not individual rights but the acceptance of one's role in the greater organism. The state was the embodiment of this superior meaning, which could only be interpreted by great leaders. Democracy had no place in the model (Hoffmann, 1994: 108-30).

The French Staatsnation, on the other hand, developed through the democratic revolution of 1789. It was seen as being based not on common culture but on a common will, as expressed both in Rousseau's idea of the 'general will' and in Renan's famous expression of the nation as 'le plebiscite de tous les jours' (the daily plebiscite). The implication is that citizens of a nation form a community because they constantly express the will to do so. The nation should therefore be understood as a political project capable of transcending the tension between universalism and particularism (Schnapper, 1994: 83-114). The common will creates and maintains the political unit, whatever conflicts there are within it. This idea provides the basis for a republican form of government, which should be capable of assimilating ethnic or religious minorities.

Yet the claim of transcending culture is dubious, for the French experience was actually based on linguistic homogenisation, political centralisation and compulsory assimilation. Shared endeavour and suffering in war were seen as the nation-building experiences par excellence. 'Political nation-units are generally born in the fracas of war' (Schnapper, 1994: 45). Even Renan emphasises, alongside the principle of consent, that of common history and culture (see Schnapper, 1994: 168). The republican model worked well as long as the dominant group was willing to assimilate others, and the economy was able to provide a reasonable level of social integration to all. But how well has the republican model coped with globalisation and the immigration of the Other? I will return to this below.


Dealing with Globalisation

How should the ideas and practices of citizenship be reshaped to deal with globalisation and cultural diversity? Here I will discuss just two positions, which can perhaps be seen as the opposing poles in the debate. Between them lies a wide range of interpretations, to be found in a vast and still growing body of literature. These two positions are:

  • The idea that the substance of citizenship and the nation-state are changing anyway through the inexorable forces of globalisation, so that little further action is needed.
  • The belief that the nation-state, although weakened by internal and external contradictions, is still the only political unit capable of maintaining democratic citizenship.

The first position can be associated both with the technocratic ideas of global managerialism, and with political theories that focus on the growing role of supranational human rights norms. I will discuss the former using the work of the Japanese management expert Kenichi Ohmae, and the latter with reference to a study by the Harvard sociologist Yasemin Soysal.

In his book, The Borderless World, Ohmae argues that a supranational power has already emerged; he calls it the Interlinked Economy (ILE), which consists of the 'Triad' (the USA, Europe and Japan), joined by new industrial economies like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    It has become so powerful that it has swallowed most consumers and corporations, made traditional national borders almost disappear, and pushed bureaucrats, politicians and the military towards the status of declining industries (Ohmae, 1991: xi).

This may come as a surprise to the officials of the EU or the generals of the Pentagon, and indeed to asylum-seekers trying to cross the borders of Fortress Europe. But this is not what Ohmae is concerned with: his borderless world applies to the transnational corporations and their executives and specialists. He is talking about what he sees as an inevitable trend: 'The policy objective for the ILE will be ensuring the free flow of information, money, goods and services as well as the free migration of people and corporations. Traditional governments will have to establish a new single framework of global governance' (Ohmae, 1991: xii-xiii).

For Ohmae, the global economy is driven by the free choices of customers, which dictate a radical opening of economies. The task of government is to 'ensure that its people have a good life by ensuring stable access to the best and the cheapest goods and services from anywhere in the world' (Ohmae, 1991: 12). The burgeoning flow of information is turning people into 'global citizens', who are aware of all that is happening around the world—with regard. to tastes and preferences, styles of clothing, sports and life-styles (Ohmae, 1991: 18-22). Thus Ohmae reduces the philosophical notion of the 'good life' to the right to buy the best consumer goods. Global citizenship is about reducing the role of government, in order to permit untrammelled play to the transnational corporations.

Yet Ohmae is right in claiming that much economic power has passed from states to corporations and to markets. His argument is a postnationalist one, when he claims that successful management requires an abandonment of 'the headquarters mentality', and a real decentralisation of decision-making to global networks. This, in turn, is only possible if corporations can free themselves of the national culture of their founders, and develop their own transnational culture (Ohmae, 1991: 89).

Ohmae's 'borderless world' is a comfortless place for those who believe in national autonomy. Developing countries which seek to build up their economies through protectionism are doomed to failure; they should throw open their borders to the free transfer of commodities and capital, whatever the social costs (which he never mentions). The 'borderless world' is also bad news for anyone who believes in democracy. Governments are increasingly powerless, so that the right to elect them has little meaning. There are no democratic mechanisms in the global marketplaces and transnational corporations. The theme is not even discussed in Ohmae's book—he clearly sees it as irrelevant. Ohmae's global citizen is imbued with consumerism, not democratic values.

Ohmae is an adviser to some of the world's most powerful corporations, so his views may be seen as a significant expression of the technocratic logic of advanced capital. He is pointing to real trends which contain serious threats to democratic citizenship. The analysis shows the difficulties faced by national governments, when they seek to influence the global economy. The answer can only lie in the development of democratically-elected supranational bodies with countervailing power to control economic interests at the global level.

A very different notion of 'postnational membership' is put forward in the book Limits of Citizenship by Yasemin Soysal. She argues that:

    A new and more universal concept of citizenship has unfolded in the post-war era, one whose organising and legitimating principles are based on universal personhood rather than national belonging (Soysal, 1994: 1).

Soysal criticises political sociologists for remaining fixated on the nation-state as the locus for rights. Her study finds that:

    ... the classical form of the nation-state and its membership is not in place. The state is no longer an autonomous and independent organisation closed over a nationally defined population. Instead, we have a system of constitutionally interconnected states with a multiplicity of membership (Soysal, 163-4).

The main focus of the book is the patterns of incorporation of immigrants in Western European countries. Soysal argues that 'world-level pressures towards more expanded individual rights have lead to the increasing incorporation of foreigners into existing membership schemes'. At the same time, the extension of membership transforms the existing models, 'making national citizenship less important'. There are a number of problems with Soysal's analysis. It overstates the extent to which immigrants in Western European countries like Germany have gained most of the rights of citizenship without formal access to citizenship. In fact, immigrants are in many places still denied significant rights, and may be deported for a range of reasons. Soysal also puts a one-sided emphasis on the importance of 'world-level pressures', and pays little attention to the role of political mobilisation by immigrant groups in gaining greater rights.

But the main issue is Soysal’s dramatic conclusion that the emergence of universal personhood is rapidly eroding the territorially bounded nation-state. In her view, this type of nation-state was the dominant form for only a fairly short time: from about the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Soysal's model of 'postnational belonging' is based on universal human rights, as laid down in the conventions and declarations of supranational bodies like the United Nations, which are gradually incorporated into the constitutions and laws of nation-states. Thus universal entitlements are still delivered by the nation-state, but are no longer limited by formal citizenship. The furtherest-going expression of the trend is transnational citizenship within the European Union.

This is an appealing perspective, but Soysal overstates the extent to which it has been achieved. UN and ILO conventions and the like are often not ratified by most countries, are not implemented where they are ratified, and above all are ignored by the countries where abuses are worst. The number of countries where democracy, and human rights prevail is fairly small, and there are strong trends towards exclusionary nationalism and racism in many places It seems misplaced to argue that 'postnational citizenship' is about to be achieved. Global citizenship has to be built around the reality of a world of nation-states, despite the globalisation of economy and culture. Some observers believe that regional political unions, above all the European Union (EU), could represent a new form of citizenship, not bound to a nation-state. Yet EU citizenship is still mainly symbolic: you can only be a EU citizen if you belong to an appropriate nation-state. Moreover, EU citizenship fails to transcend nation-state citizenship in another way: it is just as exclusionary towards foreigners. Indeed, the rules for achieving free movement within the EU are concerned with keeping out and controlling the undesirable Other, especially from the Third World 2.

Let us turn now to the position that the nation-state is still the only conceivable unit for democratic citizenship even though it is under pressure through global change. Again, I will contrast a mainly economic perspective that of Robert B. Reich—with a political sociology approach—that of Dominique Schnapper.

In his book, The Work of Nations, Reich (who is currently the US Secretary for Labor) presents a compelling analysis of the effects of globalisation:

    As almost every factor of production—money, technology, factories, and equipment—moves effortlessly across borders, the very idea of a national economy is becoming meaningless... (Reich, 1991: 8).

The question Reich raises is whether there can be a national society in the absence of a national economy. Citing Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, he states 'the idea that the citizens of a nation shared responsibility for their economic well-being' was closely linked to the rise of the democratic nation-state (Reich, 1991: 18). As long as economic affairs were organised on national lines, there was a certain degree of common interest that transcended class divisions: successful industrial economies could pass on some of their wealth to workers through higher wages, access to consumer goods and improved welfare systems. This, in turn, strengthened feelings of national solidarity.

Globalisation and technological change shatter the basis of national solidarity. Reich argues that class structure has been transformed through the decline of manufacturing industries in countries like the USA. Three categories of workers are emerging:

  • routine production workers, the declining group of employees in manufacturing enterprises;
  • in-person servers, people performing simple and repetitive tasks, such as retail sales workers, waiters and waitresses, health-care personnel and the growing army of security guards;
  • 'symbolic analysts', all the problem-solving, problem-identifying and strategic-brokering activities, which require high-level skills and training (Reich, 1991: 171-84)

The first two categories are oriented towards local or national labour markets, while the symbolic analysts function increasingly in global labour markets. It is irrelevant for them whether they work for a US, a Japanese or a transnational company. They can ensure that their earnings grow, while the wages of the production workers and in-person servers are strictly limited. This explains the enormous growth of income inequality in the USA in the last 20 years. As real wages and working conditions fall for most of the population, symbolic analysts have been able to reduce their own of personal taxation. This explains the fiscal crisis of the welfare state. The wealthy one-fifth of the population, according to Reich, have effectively seceded from the rest (Reich, 1991: 282-300). They have moved into separate towns and suburbs, protected by private police. They have ceased to contribute to public expenditure, and instead are financing their own privatised schools, healthcare systems and leisure facilities. Above all, they dominate political power and see no reason to share it with the rest of the nation. Thus politics oscillates between the 'zero-sum nationalism' of those who want to turn the clock back, and the 'impassive cosmopolitanism' of people who, as citizens of the world, may feel no particular bond with any society (Reich, 1991: 301-15).

For Reich, the only answer lies in a reassertion of national solidarity This may be stimulated by 'the inability of symbolic analysts to protect themselves, their families and their property from the depredations of a larger and ever more desperate population outside' (Reich, 1991: 303). The main factor, however, must be 'a new patriotism', founded less upon economic self-interest than 'loyalty to place'. This could be the starting point for 'a positive economic nationalism', in which each nation's citizens take responsibility for ensuring that their compatriots have full and productive lives, but also cooperate with other countries for mutual advantage. This would require a sense of national purpose, based on historical and cultural connections to a common political endeavour (Reich, 1991: 311-2). The problem with this conclusion is that it is completely voluntaristic: having demonstrated the powerful forces that are undermining the national bond, Reich postulates that these can be countered by an act of a collective will which, according to his own analysis, no longer exists.

Dominique Schnapper's book, La Communaute des Citoyens, was awarded the Prize of the French National Assembly in 1994 for its passionate defence of republican values. Schnapper asserts that the nation-state is seriously weakened:

    Today we are experiencing the weakening of civic feeling and of political bonds. There is nothing to guarantee that the modern democratic nation will in future have the capability of maintaining the social bond, as it has done in the past...It seems impossible for democracies to demand of their citizens to defend them with their lives. In democracy there is no longer any supreme sacrifice: the individuals and their interests have taken the place of the citizens and their ideals' (Schnapper, 1995: 11, translation by SC).

The external stresses are connected with globalisation and the development of supra- and infra-national units. A global political order, as represented by the UN, limits national independence and sovereignty. The need for common action to achieve collective security, to combat terrorism and to stop drug smuggling also makes inter-state cooperation essential. At the economic level intended to teach the values of the nation and democracy. The depoliticisation and re-ethnicisation of the nation-state undermines the republican project of individual integration of immigrants and other minorities by means of common political values. This is replaced by separatist consciousness: national identity (for the majority), ethnic identities (for the minorities) and new forms of religious identity (sects etc) which help people cope with the feelings of powerlessness and disenchantment caused by the increasing rationalisation, anonymity and bureaucratisation of large-scale societies.

Schnapper presents a powerful analysis of the crisis of democratic citizenship, yet her critique remains problematic. Although she claims to be presenting a general argument for a political concept of the nation, her picture is clearly that of the French republican model. She is one-sided in her portrayal of the nation, emphasising its rationality and its capacity for creating a social bond between people of differing origins. She neglects past repressions needed to homogenise ethnically diverse populations, and current racism towards immigrants and minorities. She idealises conscription and war as means of national integration, but ignores the suffering which flowed from this notion of the warrior-citizen. She seems oblivious to the dialectic of rationality and barbarism which bedevils the history of European nations. The development of communities of warrior soldiers armed to the teeth against external enemies, whose existence (or construction) was vital to national integration, leads inexorably to ever-more horrific wars.

The main problem is that Schnapper suggests no way of resolving the crisis of the nation-state. She explicitly rejects the notion of a multicultural society, arguing (without giving any reasons) that multiculturalism offers a merely 'magical' or apparent solution to the contradiction between the two great values of modernity: individual equality inscribed in the principle of citizenship and authenticity tied to a specific culture. In the same way, Schnapper argues that decentralisation and local democracy is insufficient to unite citizens around a project which creates a common will (Schnapper, 1994: 201). In the end she states that it seems possible that the project of the democratic nation has become exhausted, but she offers not even a glimpse of a way forwards.

From differing perspectives, all the four authors discussed here provide convincing evidence that the nation-state is in serious difficulties. Ohmae argues from a rather crude economic determinism that nation-states should not control the workings of global markets. The democratic citizen does not appear in his world-view, while his notion of the 'global citizen' refers to the mobile corporate executive. Soysal's notion of 'postnational belonging' and her assertion that universal personhood is rapidly replacing citizenship in the nation-state seem wildly optimistic in view of the continuing limitation on the rights of migrants and minorities. Reich gives an incisive critique of the polarisation of US society, but fails to provide a convincing strategy for recreating national solidarity. Schnapper presents a thorough analysis of the stresses faced by nation-states, but is unable to suggest any political solution. In the end, all four analyses lead to inaction: Ohmae and Soysal because they indicate that new modes of political integration are appearing by themselves; Reich and Schnapper because they see no option to the nation-state, even though they show that it is no longer viable in its existing form.



So where do we go from here? I have no space in this paper for detailed suggestions. It seems clear that a theory of citizenship for a global society must be based on the separation between nation and state. Such a theory must, in other words, evacuate the nation part of the concept of the nation-state. This means a new type of state which is not constituted exclusively or mainly around the nexus of territoriality and belonging. Citizenship should therefore not be connected to nationality (that is to the idea of being one people with common cultural characteristics).

Citizenship for a global society also requires a new notion of state borders. These cannot be abolished, as distinct states will remain the rule for the foreseeable future. But borders cannot be rigid, in view of the mobility intrinsic in modernity and globalism. A notion of porous borders is required, with admission rules and rights based on people's real societal membership (see Bauböck, 1994). Such a system would break with the outmoded norm of singular membership in a nation-state and recognise the growing prevalence of dual or multiple membership. There must be a link between admission procedures (to the state territory and to citizenship) and the contents of citizenship. This requires differential rights and new forms of representation / participation .

The fundamental problem is to work out new rules for conviviality, which provide not only the basis for equality but also the conditions for cross-cultural communication and the development of a new sense of community. If democracy is to be realised and enhanced, then everyone who belongs to a society must have a political voice as a citizen. Citizenship should not be derived from membership of one or more cultural groups, but on residence in a state's territory. Other significant links—such as origin in the territory, family bonds, economic involvement or cultural participation—should also confer citizenship rights, which may need to be differentiated according to the type of linkage.

Citizenship should be a political community without any claim to common cultural identity. Yet in a world of migrants, ethnic groups and diasporas, citizenship cannot be blind to cultural belonging either. Citizenship rules must start from the recognition that individuality is always formed in social and cultural contexts, and that individuals are always also members of social and cultural groups (see Habermas, 1994). The liberal principle of abstracting from these contexts leads to a fiction of equality as citizens, which is belied by real differences in political and economic power. Democratic societies have addressed this by developing welfare states. But globalisation makes it necessary to go a step further, and to develop approaches to citizenship designed to achieve both individual equality and recognition of collective difference. This requires a radical rethinking of citizenship rights.



1. This paper is based on work in progress for a book being written jointly with Alastair Davidson of Monash University. I acknowledge his contribution to the ideas presented in the paper.

2. The example of the EU also helps to illustrate a further ambiguity. EU citizenship, with its well-known 'democratic deficit', is an example of a set of rights relating to a political unit based on the rule of law, but without democratic participation by the citizen. The European Parliament, has consultative functions only. Decisions are made by the powerful bureaucracy of the European Commission, or by the Council of Ministers, who are nominated by the member states. Roel de Lange (1995) argues that EU citizenship is similar in this respect to pre-1914 Prussia, where citizenship in a non-democratic Rechtsstaat conferred no real power. This raises the question: does citizenship imply the active citizen who makes laws and controls their implementation, or is the passive citizen—who obeys the laws and is protected by them—sufficient?



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    Paul Spoonley
    Department of Sociology
    Massey University - Albany



As societies such as those of Australia and New Zealand transform their central economic and social policies, and institutions, in line with an economic rationalism that privileges economic competitiveness and efficiency, major questions remain largely unacknowledged or unanswered. At the end of the twentieth centuries, these countries, and others, have seen rise in the significance of the politics of identity, and specifically those of cultural identity. One of the significant issues which deserves considerably more attention is the matter of what constitutes citizenship in such culturally diverse society? As Tully asks:

    Can a modern constitution recognise and accommodate cultural diversity? (Tully, 1995:1).

As he goes on:

    The question is not whether one should be for or against cultural diversity. Rather, it is the prior question of what is the critical attitude or spirit in which justice can be rendered to the demands for cultural recognition (Tully, 1995:1).

These are complex and substantial issues for societies which have a long history of excluding minority and indigenous ethnic groups from the activities of the modern state, at least in terms of the process of decision-making and political and economic participation. In gaining a new status at the very moment that the core institutions and relations of the state are being remade, there is considerable potential for both regressive as well as progressive attempts to address the status of marginalised minority groups. New Zealand is little different to other countries in the fact that it must now explore such matters, but it does differ in terms of the specificity of issues that are to be found locally. In particular, there is a substantial indigenous group which comprises a growing proportion of the total population in combination with new immigration policies which have diversified the source countries for migrants. These dynamics present major challenges to a traditional and narrow definition of citizenship and invite the exploration of new and expanded forms which more explicitly recognise the cultural diversity and interests of Aotearoa in the twenty-first century.


Citizenship in Aotearoa

Firstly, it needs to be acknowledged that in historical terms, citizenship has been a variable commodity in New Zealand, depending upon the particular ethnic group in question. For most of New Zealand's history since the signing of the Treaty in 1840, ethnicity, or more specifically the 'race' of groups, has been a critical factor in privileging some groups and not others in terms of what they might expect by way of citizenship. This is very apparent in terms of the conditions of citizenship in a narrow sense. For example, although Chinese migrants arrived in New Zealand in the 1860s, they could not become New Zealand citizens until 1951. Moreover, they were excluded from many of the rights that are normally associated with citizenship and faced substantial legal and populist racism that further marginalised them in terms of their participation in the political, economic and social institutions of New Zealand society. They faced substantial barriers before and on their arrival, especially from the 1880s and 1890s, when something of a moral panic set in that portrayed Chinese as an alien hoard that would 'swamp' New Zealand. Even those who were resident in New Zealand, and had been resident for some time, faced continued racism and discrimination, particularly with the establishment of groups such as the White New Zealand League in the 1920s to oppose Asian migration (Leckie, 1985). Family reunification, even when a marriage had occurred prior to migration, was not widely permitted until after the Second World War.

In the case of Maori, the situation is complicated by the rights granted under the Treaty of Waitangi. These include rights of two quite different sorts. One of the articles of the Treaty extended the rights of British subjects to Maori as individuals. However, another clause specified that Maori were members of communal organisations, such as iwi and hapu, and that these communal groupings also had rights, particularly with regard to their traditional ownership of particular resources (Ammunson, 1996). In effect, the second right was largely ignored, particularly from the time that Judge Prendergast ruled that the Treaty was a nullity in 1852. It has only really been in the last two decades that the Treaty has regained something of its constitutional status and thereby created an interesting dilemma in terms of the constitutional rights of Maori as members of iwi and hapu. In many ways, this gives Maori a status as dual citizens - as individuals and as members of iwi/hapu - but the implications of that have yet to be fully explored. In addition to the rights granted by the Treaty of Waitangi, there have been various policies and statutes which have granted Maori a specific status as residents of New Zealand. For example, the legislation which established four seats in 1867 can be seen, in contemporary terms, as a form of special political representation which ensured their participation in the major decision-making body in New Zealand. However, it has long been recognised that the four Maori seats also served to marginalise Maori in the sense that those representatives have never been able to exercise sufficient power to influence Parliamentary decision-making processes. The paradox is that in providing special services for Maori in areas such as education, Parliamentary representation, dedicated government departments, etc, such moves have served to co-opt and further marginalise Maori in a variety of ways. Few of the measures have served to preserve Maori interests, particularly in terms of retaining control over cultural practices and resources.

The example of the Tangata Whenua in New Zealand highlights the paradoxical nature of citizenship, particularly if a broader definition is employed. T.H. Marshall argued that citizenship ought to be seen as involving three different components (Marshall, 1964). In terms of the integrative function of citizenship, it only works if there are material benefits of being a member of a particular society and a degree of social and economic participation. He argued that resources needed to be distributed equitably for there to be a commitment to the unity implied in citizenship. Such a definition reinforces comments made earlier about the position of Maori and, in particular, the way in which colonisation and the subsequent policies of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries have served to marginalise Maori in economic and social terms. No matter what the particular circumstances, the proportion of the New Zealand population which fall into negative categories in areas such as crime, education, health and employment, disproportionately involve many more Maori than they do other sectors of the population, with the exception of Tagata Pasefika. In terms of the distribution of social and economic goods in New Zealand and their experiences as a colonized people, the Maori population has been more systematically and extensively disadvantaged than any other group. If Marshall’s definition is to be used, then it gives weight to the argument that Maori access to citizenship has been inequitable and is one of the major factors in inviting a reconsideration of what citizenship now means.



At the end of the twentieth century, there have been an accumulation of changes and developments which now challenge the traditional notions of citizenship in New Zealand. Since 1840, the narrow definition of citizenship in New Zealand has revolved around being a British subject and it was only in 1977 that this definition was broadened. More recently, particularly with the development of cultural politics and issues during the 1980s and 1990s, the question of citizenship which more adequately addresses the various issues of cultural diversity is now a significant challenge. In particular, it has arisen because of a number of developments.


1. Post Migration Experiences of Maori

Maori, as colonised subjects, were excluded from many of the advantages of being a New Zealand citizen. The experiences and effects of colonisation were further compounded by the policies in the immediate post-war period (post 1945) of encouraging Maori to migrate to the urban centres of expanding capitalist production. That migration meant that a large proportion of Maori moved to these centres and currently, the majority of Maori live outside their traditional rohe. Some continue to identify with their iwi but in terms of the 1991 census, almost a quarter of Maori either did not know their iwi origins or did not identify with an iwi. The disruptive effects of colonisation has been added to by the disruption subsequent to the internal migration of Maori within New Zealand after 1945. The combined effects of these two processes has dramatically emphasised the marginalisation of Maori in Aotearoa.


2. Demographic Profile of Maori and Social-Cultural-Economic Needs

The demographic profile of Maori is different to that of non-Maori in the sense that there is a substantially greater proportion of the Maori population under age twenty-five. While the number of births per Maori woman has dropped to almost parallel that of non-Maori, the entry of significant numbers of Maori women into their fertile years and the relatively young age at which they bear children has meant that the Maori population is still increasing at a time when the Pakeha population has remained stable for some time. This is most apparent in the education system where there has been a substantial increase in the number of educational institutions which are designed to meet Maori needs and in the number of children who now are enrolled in those institutions or who are entering the state education system. The combined effect means that the number of Maori as a proportion of the total population will continue to increase over the first decades of the twenty-first century and, in particular, the number of Maori who are in 'at risk' groups in terms of various factors such as health, criminal offending and education, will be significantly higher than it has been. All social service agencies will be required to meet Maori client needs in the 1990s and the twenty-first century in a way that they have not had to in the past, partly because of the sheer size of the future Maori population, in particular age cohorts and partly because of the increased emphasis given to Treaty and Tangata Whenua concerns.

Questions such as cultural reproduction, the access to paid employment, access to adequate education and health care and the general quality of life of Maori, is now a major policy issue. Colonisation has had particular effects which have produced some very negative experiences for Maori. In migrating to the urban areas, the disruption to cultural reproduction has been exacerbated although, for a period in the 1950s through to the 1970s, the economic participation of Maori did increase. However, with the collapse of the labour market throughout the 1970s, and more noticeably in the late 1980s, Maori economic participation has now rapidly worsened. In terms of the definition used by Marshall, then the combined effects of colonisation and migration have produced a very particular set of social, cultural and economic needs for Maori which is fundamentally different to that of other sectors of the population. The question remains as to how these needs are to be addressed in policy and institutional terms in New Zealand and consequently, the attributes and benefits of citizenship.


3. Maori Political Ambitions and Tino Rangatiratanga

In response to the circumstances identified in (1) and (2) above, Maori leadership and politics have changed fundamentally in the last two decades. In recognition of the need to provide an economic and cultural base for Maori, both iwi and non-iwi, Maori organisations have moved to fundamentally change the way in which they operate so that they can more adequately fulfil the needs of their communities. One of the most obvious changes in recent years has been the way in which Maori have articulated their concerns and have sought to resolve some long-standing grievances. Ultimately, the ambition is encapsulated in the notion of Tino Rangatiratanga or of a degree of autonomy which allows them to take responsibility for those things which most affect their communities. In surveying the political agenda at a national level since the 1980s, the articulation and intervention of Maori political ambitions has been one of the most significant developments. Few can now ignore the significance of Maori political concerns, nor the fact that they have come together as various communities to articulate those concerns and lobby very effectively on their own behalf. The result has been seen in the way in which reparations for abrogations of the Treaty of Waitangi are now accepted by virtually all political parties and have resulted in substantial settlements for particular iwi. There are still major outstanding issues to be resolved for a number of iwi and non-iwi groupings who have gained little but nevertheless, there are significant resources being transferred to some iwi at least. The increased political participation has resulted in fifteen Maori Members of Parliament in the first MMP Parliament. The notion of Tino Rangatiratanga and its political articulation presents one of the most significant challenges to a traditional notion of citizenship.


4. Biculturalism and Multiculturalism

Since the publication of Puao Te Atatu in 1986 and the subsequent observations offered by organisations such as the Royal Commission on Social Policy or the Anglican Churches Bicultural Commission, the major policy initiatives have been centred on biculturalism. The word itself does not appear in public discourse prior to the mid-1980s but it suddenly gained attention as major reviews of government departments, such as the Department of Social Welfare, along with statements from other organisations elevated the notion to a central concept in policy. Since the late 1980s, the policies of social service departments at least, have now been required to address issues of biculturalism and, in particular, to recognise the Treaty of Waitangi as a major constitutional and policy document and to systematically recognise the needs of Maori as clients. This has privileged biculturalism and given it a status in any policy discussion. It has also produced major opposition and one of the alternatives that has been articulated, often forcibly since the mid-1990s, has been a policy of multiculturalism. This is intended to recognise all cultural groups in some way but with implications for cultural politics and policies. The first is that the majority group, Pakeha, are typically excluded from any consideration so that multiculturalism tends to focus on minority ethnic groups but not the majority group. Secondly, multiculturalism is seen as diametrically opposed to biculturalism in the sense that Maori are simply deemed as yet another minority ethnic group in New Zealand with the same, but no more, rights than any other ethnic group. Thirdly, multiculturalism is seen to be inclusive whereas biculturalism is often defined as being exclusive to Maori and Pakeha (or the Crown). This does suggest that many see a major tension between biculturalism and multiculturalism and that the softer multiculturalism is the preferred option. This debate has major implications for definitions of citizenship.


5. Hollowing Out of the State

The restructuring of the state in New Zealand has implications for citizenship. For much of the history of countries like New Zealand, it has been assumed that the nation-state is the fundamental notion around which a new society has been created and on which basis, central government continues to function on behalf of all citizens. There is an assumption that there is a relatively homogeneous nation which is reflected in the operations of the state (Roche, 1992:228). The state, in turn, is responsible for the economic and social welfare of the country and certainly in New Zealand, from the 1890s, a welfare state has been a major factor in preserving the citizenship rights, as specified by Marshall, of most New Zealanders. The reforms post-1984 have meant that the welfare state has taken on a fundamentally new role and that its welfare provisions have been dramatically reduced. Both Labour and National Governments between 1984 and 1996 have sought to privatise costs and to establish quite significant barriers to universal access to welfare of one sort or another. On the economic front, the state has maintained quite significant controls in the area of financial policy, but has withdrawn from direct intervention in other areas and, in particular, the control of the labour market with the advent of the Employment Contracts Act of 1990. The effect has been that the protection traditionally offered by the state, in both economic and welfare arenas, has now dissipated and the material benefits available to New Zealanders has been dramatically altered in terms of their distribution.

Maori, in contesting the way in which the state now operates and in moving to establish communal forms of welfare and economic development, provide an interesting alternative which is quite different to the individualism and market competitiveness of the economic rationalist model. This again suggests an interesting tension between the mutuality of community and national welfare and the individual responsibility and competitiveness ofeconomic rationalism. If citizenship does mean access to certain material benefits, then the settlement of the 1890s Liberal Government and of the 1935 Labour Government has now been dramatically changed. The question remains as to which model or approach will prevail in the future and what the implications are for the benefits of citizenship in New Zealand.


6. Contractualism

Ladley (1996:23) has pointed out that one of the products of the hollowing out of the state has been a new form of contractualism between individuals or groups and the Government defined by statutes such as the Reserve Bank Act and the Employment Contracts Act. The nature of the contract between government and citizen has now fundamentally changed and the resolution of disputes has been increasingly diverted to the courts. Litigation and disputes have taken on a new significance and this has meant new costs, but also opportunities for at least some groups. Certainly, Maori have perceived the opportunities and have moved to litigate and negotiate with the government in a fundamentally new way. The effect has been seen in the transfer of some resources. However, this contractualism again suggests that there is a new relationship between the state and what it offers by way of citizenship and residence of New Zealand.


7. Changes to Political Representation

The advent of an MMP Parliament is yet another aspect of the changes that have occurred in the last two decades. It alters the constitution of Parliament and how various communities and groups might have access to political representation and decision-making. In terms of ethnicity, the change has been dramatic. In the new MMP Parliament, there are fifteen Maori MPs, three Tagata Pasefika MPs, and one Asian. In fragmenting the existing party political system, the opportunity for ethnic groups to have direct representation in Parliament and to have a more effective say has fundamentally changed. It does suggest that in these early days, an MMP Parliament might provide the opportunity for minority ethnic groups to have fundamentally greater say in a national institution which contrasts with a period when there were four Maori Parliamentarians who had very little say on policy or decision-making.


8. New Zealand-born Tagata Pasefika

In addition to many of the above changes which have had a particular impact on Tangata Whenua politics, there are other considerations which increase the significance of cultural politics and therefore of the need for citizenship to address such issues. One of the most important will be the fact that the numbers of Tagata Pasefika groups will continue to grow, but that increasingly, a majority of members of these groups will be New Zealand-born. This will have the effect of challenging the traditional notions of what constitutes a Samoan (or whatever) cultural identity and there have been, and will be, major changes to the way in which traditional cultural practices and values that were imported from the micro-states of the Pacific will be changed to fit a New Zealand setting. These New Zealand-born Tagata Pasefika will produce New Zealand variants of Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Maori, Tokelauan and Niuean cultures. They will also look to reproduce these cultural traditions given that there are now successive generations of New Zealand-born who will have moved from identifying closely with the origin nations in the Pacific and begin to identify much more with the circumstances of New Zealand. In addition to this, Tagata Pasefika populations are experiencing major growth in demographic terms. The numbers of New Zealand-based Tagata Pasefika of whatever group will continue to grow substantially over the first three decades of next century and Statistics New Zealand expects the total population to double and thereby comprise between 7% and 8% of the New Zealand population in 2031. In the same way that Maori have fought to reverse some of the negative impacts of colonization and migration, then we should anticipate that Tagata Pasefika will look to do the same with implications for debates about cultural identity in this country. Moreover, the numbers of New Zealand-born of particular groups already exceed the numbers of certain Pacific states and in nearly all cases in the twenty-first century, the numbers resident in New Zealand will be significantly greater than those resident in their origin Pacific societies. This will link New Zealand much more intimately to the politics of the South Pacific than has been the case in the past and mean that there will be significant interchanges between New Zealand and particular micro-states, especially at moments of crisis. Given the politics of the overstayer campaign in the 1970s and of the Lesa case which went to the Privy Council in the 1980s, then already Tagata Pasefika have challenged some of the traditional notions of citizenship (Polutu-Endemann and Spoonley, 1992). The overstayers campaign saw government agencies, notably Police and Immigration, target what they believed to be overstayers but who were in fact often people who were legally resident in New Zealand (by virtue of the fact that they were New Zealand citizens) or Maori because the agency members could not tell the difference. This obviously impinged upon the rights of New Zealanders of one sort another and it still remains one of the most traumatic periods of recent New Zealand history as the state sought to implement a degree of border control and police residency in a highly discriminatory way. The bulk of overstayers were not from the Pacific and yet in excess of 80% of those prosecuted were Tagata Pasefika. The Lesa case meant that the matter went to the Privy Council who ruled in 1982 that because New Zealand was responsible for the governance of Western Samoa in 1948, that Samoans could claim citizenship because they were under New Zealand law. This produced something of a panic for the then National Government who moved very quickly to pass an Act which effectively over-ruled the Privy Council decision. Already, Tagata Pasefika have challenged the definition of who is and who is not a New Zealand citizen and the state in New Zealand has tended to respond very negatively to these challenges.


9. East Asian Migrants

The traditional source countries of migrants changed in the 1980s, and then with a major change in immigration policy, again in 1990. Instead of the mass labour migration which brought Tagata Pasefika to New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s, the demand was now for professionally qualified people or those with investment capital. In addition to migrants from traditional source countries such as Britain and Australia, the new migration flows came from South Africa and East Asia, notably Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Few New Zealanders reacted negatively to the migrants coming from Britain and South Africa but the arrival of significant numbers of East Asian migrants in the early 1990s had a major impact upon the political perceptions of many New Zealanders, including the development of a politics which could be deemed to be racist. Despite the careful wording of New Zealand First in 1994 and 1995, there is little doubt that many New Zealanders reacted negatively to the arrival of East Asian migrants and were encouraged by what they saw as the hostile comments of the New Zealand First leader. Nevertheless, East Asian migrants are now New Zealand citizens and have provided a degree of ethnic diversity which was not there previously in terms of the profile of migrants and their descendants. Questions have been raised about the understanding and commitment of these new migrants to Tangata Whenua and Treaty issues and, in turn, the new migrants have already begun to play a significant role in terms of local and national politics. The point is whether migrants of all sorts understand issues of the Treaty, and how the views and politics of these new migrants are going to impact on debates about citizenship.


10. Supra-National Corporations

One of the major pressures on the state has been the development of supra-national corporations and regional associations (Ascherson, 1994; Castles, 1996) which, in terms of economic power and in times of influence, supersede that of the state. In regions such as the European Union, power has moved upwards and down. There are local authorities which have increased responsibilities but equally there are regional groupings which have taken over the functions of the state. Certainly, in the New Zealand context, the power of multinationals is such that the state's power might be seen to be diminished by the process of globalisation and the power that now resides in huge international corporations. In terms of regional associations, closer economic relations with Australia is one obvious association which has the potential, at least, to overrule the authority of the state. Further, the power of the booming Asian economies means that New Zealand is a minor player in influencing regional decision-making. In terms of what a state can deliver, then globalisation has weakened the power of the state in a number of ways.


11. Sovereignty in the Nation-State

One of the assumptions, as has already been noted, is that the modern nation-state is built around national unity which in turn assumes a degree of cultural homogeneity. This has never been the case but rather reflects the dominance of particular ethnic groups (in the case of New Zealand, the Pakeha majority). In the late twentieth century, there have been significant challenges to the notion that the state is inevitably built around national homogeneity, and instead, the state is increasingly required to mediate between the quite different interests of various cultural groups.

The related question is what then remains in terms of the sovereignty of the state? The effect of globalisation has been to question that sovereignty and parties such as New Zealand First and Alliance have built political campaigns around the degree of sovereignty which is deemed to have been sold to corporations and multinationals. The state's sovereignty, it is argued, has been severely diminished and what the state can then guarantee its citizens has been equally eroded. Maori have added another dimension to this by arguing that sovereignty does not necessarily reside in the state and that they want to establish their own spheres of sovereignty or autonomy. This does suggest that sovereignty is being renegotiated at the end of the twentieth century so that it will become more inclusive of a variety of ethnic groups and that new definitions of sovereignty might evolve. There are a variety of forms of federalism and the growing cultural diversity in many countries, including New Zealand, has put added pressure on determining what sovereignty might mean in terms of the state in the twentyfirst century.

All of these developments provide substantial challenges to traditional notions of citizenship and new possibilities. However, it must be noted that there has been a significant backlash to both the reality of cultural diversity and the possibility of changes to existing definitions of citizenship.


Opposition to Citizenship Based on Cultural Diversity

Since the resurgence of Maori politics in the 1970s, there have been consistent critics of any proposal or change which acknowledges that Maori have particular cultural needs or that their ambition for Tino Rangatiratanga should be entertained. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were strongly nationalist positions articulated by politicians such as Sir Robert Muldoon who denied that cultural difference was at all relevant in terms of the governance of New Zealand. His oft repeated phrase, "we're all New Zealanders", summarised his disparagement of anything other than a homogeneous national identity and his view that ethnic diversity undercut the nation-state. A number of pressure groups from the same period, such as the One New Zealand Foundation, echoed this line. It is a position which is typically encountered on any form which requires ethnic identification. The ethnic options are deleted and replaced with labels such as "Kiwi" or "New Zealander". It is an enduring assimilationist framework which invokes notions of patriotism and a unity which is held to be essential in order to sustain the nation-state. However, the thrust of Maori politics has increasingly tended to undermine this position to the point where, in the mid-1990s, a National Cabinet was responsible for substantial reparations to iwi and an apology to Tainui which stressed the impact of colonization in disempowering iwi.

Elsewhere, opposition remains. Some in the media have mounted a hostile campaign to anything which recognises cultural diversity. From the 1980s, Metro and North and South had a number of columnists such as Carol de Chateau and Rosemary Macleod who vigorously opposed policies which considered Maori cultural concerns. De Chateau provided a major attack on the notion of being Pakeha (Wall, 1986) and was one of the first to highlight cultural safety in nursing education (du Chateau, 1992). Increasingly, the claim was that anything which reflected Maori concerns meant varying degrees of disadvantage to non-Maori and particularly to Pakeha. Maori culture and Maori politics were often caricatured, both in terms of an inaccurate or a superficial description of what was involved along with a vocabulary (e.g. 'guilty liberals', 'bone people', 'thought police') which disparaged Maori 'activists' and fellow travellers, typically Pakeha liberals. This opposition has been even more forcefully articulated by Frank Haden in his column in the Sunday Star Times (for example, see Haden, 1990). Cultural issues preoccupy him and he gives more attention in column inches to cultural matters, and particularly those that reflect Maori politics, than to any other single issue. For some considerable time, he has articulated his opposition to almost anything Maori and typically does so in an extreme and disparaging manner. There is no doubt that he represents a certain constituency in New Zealand who have seen the exploration of Treaty issues and the growing articulation of Maori concerns as a backward move. Typically, the universalism of national identity and the competitiveness of individuals is seen as the mark of an advanced nation-state and the recognition of minority cultural groups is cast as a retrograde step. Others who have articulated a similar position include Geoff McDonald, an Australian extreme activist with connections to the New Zealand League of Rights, wrote a number of books in the 1980s which portrayed Maori activism as part of a conspiracy theory to undermine the unity of the nation state in New Zealand (e.g. McDonald, 1985). More recently, Stuart Scott has written (badly) two books which continue this theme (Scott, 1995). Significantly, many of these contributions have come from older New Zealanders who have been dismayed by recent developments. They provide a constituency for authors such as Scott or Haden, or pressure groups such as the One New Zealand Foundation or the League of Rights. Ironically, on the matter of Asian migration, New Zealand First attracted this older, conservative constituency prior to the 1996 election but they supported the party alongside a substantial Maori constituency that held views that were diametrically opposed, at least on matters of tino rangatiratanga.

Recently, there have been some sustained attacks from some academics to the new bicultural policy environment of the late 1980s and 1990s. In particular, Stuart Greif (1995) and Ramesh Thakur, have been highly critical of the direction of policies on cultural issues in New Zealand. Their criticisms are the traditional concerns of liberals, or at least those liberals who are committed to a particular universalistic model of citizenship that dates from the nineteenth century. They are particularly opposed to anything that undermines universalistic model and want to affirm its utility. In brief, these views can be summarised as:

(a) Greif and Thakur (and others) have been concerned at the privileging of biculturalism. In essence, they regard biculturalism as an option which favours relations between Maori and Pakeha, or Maori and the Crown, but which ignores non-Maori and non-Pakeha (Greif, 1995:16). They argue that New Zealand is a multicultural society and the emphasis on biculturalism is in conflict with the multicultural reality of New Zealand in the 1990s. Biculturalism is said to place the emphasis on two groups to the exclusion of others and in a way that undermines multicultural options (see Thakur, 1995:271).

(b) Greif and Thakur regard the ethnic-specific policies of biculturalism as inequitable and a retrograde step. The inequity occurs because particular groups, by virtue of their ethnic descent and identity claiming, are given advantages in society. In doing this, they would argue that society is regressing to a point where the universalism of a contemporary, advanced, industrial society is being undermined by the particularism of tribal and ethnic identity of one sort or another. The extreme examples of ethnic conflict, including those examples where the State has divided citizens in terms of 'race' or where ethnic conflict has recently increased, such as in Bosnia, are portrayed the end point of such developments (see Greif, 1995:18).

(c) There is opposition here and in publications such as Stuart Scott's books to the Treaty of Waitangi being treated as a constitutional document in a legislative and policy sense. The Treaty is defined as a document of nineteenth century colonialism and is therefore inappropriate for the late twentieth century. Further, it enhances the privileging of things Maori and requires major resources, notably from the public purse, to resolve Maori grievances.

(d) In contrast to the concerns identified in the first three, there are strong arguments for a single system of political representation and judicial process. Any moves to provide separate legal system for ethnic groups, or for the continuation and extension of political representation for ethnic groups, is seen as fundamentally divisive in a society which is trying to achieve a single and universal notion of citizenship.

(e) Authors such as Greif and Thakur argue for ethnic neutral policies in terms of the provision of various social, cultural and economic resources, and this ethnic neutral stance, it is agreed, should extend to the indigenous populations such as Maori in New Zealand. The authors are not against the public provision of resources or social services, but they argue that they should be equally available to all and that there should be no distinctions made according to the ethnicity of the clients or group concerned.

(f) Both authors are concerned to see that the cultural traditions of a particular group are continued, but they are clear that the responsibility for the maintenance and reproduction of cultural traditions should lie with the group concerned (e.g. Thakur, 1995:280). The responsibility for deciding what is important in terms of the reproduction of a cultural tradition, and for finding the resources to do this, is that of the ethnic group, not something that ought to be funded by some central agency of the State.

These views are anything but new and represent a long established liberal tradition dating from the mid-nineteenth century. Philosophically and politically, the concern has been with the distributive mechanisms of an industrial, capitalist society and the issues of equity or justice have been couched in terms of ensuring that material benefits should be available to all as a way of countering some of the major socio-economic inequities that have been produced by capitalism. A degree of state intervention is accepted, but the aim is to moderate socio-economic inequities and to ensure that equality of opportunity is preserved. By definition, the liberalism of this position does not extend to those inequities that arise from colonisation or the marginalisation of ethnic and ‘racial’ groups. However, the reality of the late twentieth century is that cultural identity has become much more significant over recent decades and increasingly, issues of citizenship and justice are couched in terms of the rights of ethnic or indigenous groups. In sharp contrast to the very traditional positions of Greif and Thakur, there are some interesting reconsiderations of citizenship, including the reformulation of liberal theory by authors such as John Gray (1995) and Will Kymlicka (1995). They join a growing band of contributors and theorists who have introduced notions such as differential citizenship (Iris Young, 1995), multinational federalism (Tully, 1995) or minority rights (Bauböck, 1996), which, in the latter case, extend from the right to equality for any ethnic group through rights such as protection from discrimination to the collective autonomy and rights of succession of indigenous groups.

In opposition to Greif and Thakur, the focus in the next section will be on the schema developed by Kymlicka, one of the many examples of a culturally sensitive notion of citizenship.


Cultural Diversity and Citizenship

Will Kymlicka's 1995 book, Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, sets out one option in terms of identifying the issues concerned with cultural identity and how they might be encapsulated in notions of citizenship. Kymlicka's approach is more relevant than a number of others because he makes a distinction between the rights of indigenous groups and those of ethnic groups who have migrated to a country. The following diagram sets out the distinction in schematic form as a way of summarising Kymlicka's argument.

W.Kymlicka, 1995 Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights

The distinction that Kymlicka draws is between those indigenous peoples and nations who have lost their autonomy by virtue of colonisation and those societies that are comprised of ethnic groups who have migrated. In the first example, the result is multination states whereby the nationality of indigenous peoples has not been denied by the process of colonisation, but remains as an on-going issue to be resolved. The politics of indigenous rights and the resurgence of interest in these has been one of the major characteristics of the latter half of the twentieth century (see Wilmer, 1993). The issues that these present are of a fundamentally different order to those that arise by virtue of the multi-ethnic nature of many societies. This multi-ethnic diversity has arisen as a result of individual and family migration to a new society producing what Kymlicka refers to as polyethnic states (Kymlicka, 1995:14). Here the question is what rights any ethnic group might expect in a modern state by virtue of their ethnic traditions and identity. These he refers to as polyethnic rights as opposed to the self-government rights which are confined to the debates concerning indigenous peoples.

In the case of multination states, indigenous rights are defined by the process of colonisation (Kymlicka, 1995:8). That process has disrupted the economic and cultural life of groups but more than that, it has produced major inequities as indigenous peoples have lost access to various resources, both economic and cultural. The almost inevitable outcome is marginalisation and a degree of socio-economic hardship which is fundamentally different to that of other groups, including most ethnic groups. The question then becomes one of what needs to be considered in order to atone for the moral and legal injustices which have occurred and which provide a basis for reparative justice. The ambition is for these indigenous peoples or nations to survive as distinct societies, particularly if there were undertakings provided in historical agreements. The obvious example in the New Zealand context is the Treaty of Waitangi which does specify the rights of Maori as iwi and hapu, as collective groups with certain rights to particular resources. The most equitable way, and one which recognises the status of these peoples and nations as colonised peoples, is to establish some degree of autonomy, notably self-governance (Kymlicka, 1995:10). Tully (1995) offers various options in this regard including multinational or diverse federalism which deploys existing models of federalism but applies them to the options faced by indigenous groups. There are fundamental questions about the degree of autonomy and the nature of self-governance (does it include governance over a particular territory including all institutions and peoples who are non-indigenous in that territory?) and the balance between what is provided centrally (by the state) and locally (by the authority representing the indigenous group). There is little doubt that many of the existing models of federalism could be usefully explored in this context. This does, however, mean that indigenous rights would be defined as fundamentally different to those of other ethnic groups.

In the case of ethnic groups in a polyethnic society, there is an assumption that migration has been undertaken by individuals and families to a new society and that they have agreed, in some sense, with the conditions which pre-exist in that society. However, the point is that the ethnic identity of these groups is still very important and that there ought to be greater recognition in terms of the policies relating to this cultural identity in the receiving society. The point of greater cultural recognition is to ensure that the rights of an ethnic group to practise as members of that group are preserved and that they will continue to survive as voluntary associations, ethnic communities and families. Ethnic groups should be free from being the targets of prejudice and discrimination but more than this, their ethnicity should be recognised by the national institutions and the state. The ethnic groups might well work towards modifying the major institutions and laws of the host society so that their rights are more adequately represented.

These options are explored in considerable depth, but the point of outlining them in this way is to signal that there have been major developments in liberal theory in terms of reorganising any particular society. Moreover, a fundamental distinction is made between indigenous peoples or nations and ethnic groups and that there are different rights attached to the circumstances and options of a specific context. This fundamental distinction is one that recognises the contrasting situation of the Tangata Whenua versus the ethnic groups who have arrived in Aotearoa/New Zealand as migrants. However, liberal theorists such as Kymlicka and others do specify a number of qualifications if consideration is to be extended to culturally-based rights. In particular, they include the following:

(1) The recasting of liberal conceptions to address cultural issues does not justify 'internal restrictions' whereby an ethnic group can restrict the basic civil and political liberties of its own members. The recognition of ethnic rights does not extend to the right of an ethnic group to oppress its own members (Kymlicka, 1995:152).

(2) Equally, an ethnic group cannot exploit or oppress other groups. There must be some equity in terms of recognising the rights of others. Kymlicka (1995:172) goes on to point out that these first two qualifications should apply equally to both majority and minority ethnic groups and that, in many cases, it has been the majority ethnic group which has most typically exploited other ethnic groups in various ways.

(3) There should be no abstention from inter-cultural critique and groups should debate and, at times, challenge the practices and outcomes with regard to the ethnic traditions of others (Bauböck, 1996:212). In this sense, Baubock is reinforcing the liberal ethos of open and democratic debate.

(4) The state is inevitably a custodian of the majority culture. This has been one of the enduring criticisms since notions such as institutional racism were introduced into New Zealand in 1970 and it is a point that is obvious in terms of the way in which systems such as education, justice or health incorporate and reflect the majority group's values and practices. The traditional liberal conception that the state can be neutral has been repeatedly critiqued by those who argue that the state reflects the values of the majority group. The point is that the state should refrain from turning that culture into the ideological foundation of citizenship and thereby privilege the majority group's culture, but deny others any polyethnic or self-government rights.

(5) There are still fundamental questions about what constitutes a stable and inter-generational ethnic marker (Bauböck, 1996:215). In the case of migrant groups, ethnicity might not be a sufficiently stable marker over time, thereby undermining the justification of ethnic rights. If multinational or polyethnic rights are built into the citizenship of a particular state, then they require some careful consideration of what constitutes membership of an ethnic or national group.

(6) There is a need to be context specific and to identify the rights that are most appropriate in any given society. While the approach offered by Kymlicka is sufficiently generic to apply to many societies, including that of New Zealand, there are also the particularities of specific states and their histories. These need to be reflected the rights are to be specified and what process is to be followed in order to reach a new settlement which does recognise cultural rights.



For a variety of moral, political and economic reasons, New Zealand, along with other similar states, must address the question of how to develop a notion of citizenship that is workable, that is acceptable in a broad sense, and which reflects the significance of cultural identity. The issue has arisen because the politics of culture have become noticeably more significant for many different groups and for quite different reasons. The resurgence in Maori identity politics is a new factor in local and national politics in New Zealand and reflects the shift towards a post-colonial Aotearoa. The language of the Treaty of Waitangi, e.g. Tino Rangatiratanga, has been deployed to express the ambition to become autonomous within the state that is currently New Zealand. It is a powerful vision given the marginalisation and the current socio-economic problems faced by Maori and is an alternative to the individual competitiveness which has been a guiding principal of recent social and economic restructuring in accordance with economic rationalist arguments. The contrast is obvious, although there has been a degree of confluence between New Right arguments about self-development and independence from the state, and those articulated by some Maori. There are also major issues yet to be resolved. For example, if some iwi are to continue to grow as corporate bodies with substantial resources and programmes, is this at the expense of other iwi who might not be so well resourced? What happens to those Maori who do not identify with an iwi? If iwi organisations are going to be an important source of social services, then what delivery mechanism and policies are likely to be put into place and how effective are they going to be? There is also the need to balance bicultural considerations with those of multiculturalism (see Inglis, 1996). These reflect issues that need to be resolved, rather than arguments against the exploration of indigenous rights. Such developments reflect an important shift in the balance of power and the evolution of new sets of communal politics that have had a minimal influence on a national, or even various local, stages for most of this century. The question remains as to how the state should acknowledge the cultural integrity of Tangata Whenua and what institutional arrangements would preserve that integrity and establish a degree of autonomy.

This leaves a number of vexed questions, including the cultural politics of the majority group. Majority group politics, as with all ethnic groups, vary substantially from an exclusive nationalism which disparages any ethnic affiliation, through to liberal Pakeha identity politics. The resurgence in Maori identity politics provides a new vocabulary and has restructured the debates about cultural identity. This has impacted upon many Pakeha who are now prepared to explore their identity as a New Zealand-based ethnic group in a fundamentally new way. Nevertheless, the term Pakeha, and its politics, reflect a degree of ambiguity and while some variants might be sympathetic to biculturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi, there are nevertheless those that are vociferously opposed to such politics. There has been an evolution since the mid-1980s when identifying Pakeha became a much more obvious manifestation of a liberal position amongst the majority group. The fundamental changes that have occurred in identity claiming and in the policy environment of New Zealand have had a major impact upon how many Pakeha have looked at themselves and what they are prepared to accept in terms of a new settlement and new notions of citizenship in New Zealand. To repeat an earlier point, this new willingness to explore such options would be accompanied by Tagata Pasefika politics which will continue to explore what their respective cultural traditions mean in a New Zealand setting, especially as the numbers born and brought up in New Zealand grow substantially. The new waves of migrants, notably from South Africa and East Asia, add to the significance of cultural politics and make the discussion of citizenship and how we should address cultural identity both that much more problematic and more significant. The question remains: how is a post-colonial Aotearoa to identify the basis for culturally differentiated rights and by what process is a new settlement to be reached?



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Globalisation and the Ambiguities of National Citizenship
© Stephen Castles, 1997

Migration and the Reconstruction of Citizenship in Late Twentieth Century Aotearoa
© Paul Spoonley, 1997

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