Migrants invariably and unavoidably experience domination under the nation-state centered concepts, categories, and institutions that structure our political thinking. In response, we need to build new forms of citizenship, including local, regional, transnational, and supranational forms of belonging, accompanied by meaningful, democratic, political power. In this paper, I examine historical and present-day alternative models of political organization as possible viable alternatives to state-centric liberal democracy. It begins the task of assessing these models using radical republican theory that grounds non-domination in the active and equal participation of people subject to power.
I have three broad aims. First, we need to break down the native-migrant dichotomy to highlight commonalities and search for solidarities among migrants and other marginalized and oppressed groups, including indigenous groups. Second, I seek to awaken the political imagination. Many people do not believe there are viable alternatives to liberal democracy centered around the nation-state. In response, we should draw attention to the ways in which the nation-state’s hegemony is fragile and fragmented and the ways in which sovereignty is complex and contested. Most importantly, we need to consider alternative models for inspiration. Third, we need tools for assessing the desirability of alternatives and for building new forms of citizenship.
In what follows, first I explain why the dominant, nation-state centered model of political organization is unable to deliver justice in today’s world, or, indeed, address the collective dangers that humanity faces. I next provide a sketch of a radical republican vision that provides normative guidance our thinking about alternative institutions. I end by using this radical republic vision to reflect on possibilities to guide efforts to remake the world.