Human Rights are Not Enough – and the urgent need for noncitizenism

If we look back at the decades since the formalisation of international human rights instruments, two things become clear. First, human rights are important. Second, human rights are not enough. Traditional theoretical framings of rights tend to see citizen rights as particular, deriving from the relationship of an individual with a State. Theoretically, human rights can seem more abstract, perhaps pre-institutional, invested in humans qua humans, but not tied to particular States. This has significant implications for those whose principal relationships with States and with the multistate system are not of citizenship. I suggest, therefore, the need for a noncitizenist move in thinking about rights, where a person is in a noncitizen relationship if, for example, they must live out their life despite a particular state. Noncitizenship, like citizenship, is a particular relationship . Noncitizenship and citizenship are not opposites, but are different modes of relating with a State.