Italie - Français, 2018

Conférence de Gianluca PAROLIN lors du second Congrès international de PLURIEL à Rome.

Nation-states have added a further level of complexity to the multiple dimensions of belonging: that of (national) citizenship. After tracing some of its past developments, my contribution will focus on its current trends. The constitutional politics of citizenship in the legal systems that use Arabic as their official language, I argue, is a telling incarnation of some of citizenship’s idiosyncrasies in the region.
References to ‘citizenship’ in constitutional texts have multiplied over the past couple of decades, globally. And legal systems that use Arabic as their official language are no exception. Such increase in citizenship provisions in constitutions needs to be closely examined, however, and I will focus on the latter systems.
One could group these new citizenship provisions in three blocs: (1) provisions on jinsiyya regulations, in line with the liberal trend that prefers to set such regulations at the constitutional level to try and avoid the legislators’ whims on such momentous decisions on membership in the political community; (2) provisions involving single-jinsiyya requirements to hold public office, counter to the liberal tendency to reduce them; and (3) provisions emphasising muwatana as the mode of the political system, in line with the liberal emphasis on the participation of citizens in decision-making.
The paper will frame these constitutional developments in light of the enforcement that these provisions have seen in recent years. The two trends that seem to be in line with the liberal trend [1 & 3] are contradicted by executive practices and by the very governance design, while the counter-trend [2] has been heavily profited from.