Citizenship and belonging : East London Jewish radicals
This thesis is about citizenship and belonging: how citizenship has articulated with or against different forms, practices and spaces of belonging. It examines Jewish East London in the period from 1903 to the end of the First World War and is based on original archival research. It argues that this period saw the emergence of a new form of racialized biopolitical citizenship, which was normalized in the "state of emergency" that was the war. This citizenship was framed by the imperial context, was based on singular 1e1it her/or" identities and was defined against the figure of alien. The thesis also argues that, in the same period, an alternative space of political belonging existed in East London, based on different forms of political rationality and threaded through with multiple loyalties and identifications, that challenged the either/or logic of the nation-state. Consequently, Jewish radicals who operated in this alternative public sphere developed understandings of political belonging which cut against the grain of the nation-state, and thus offer resources for thinking about citizenship today. The thesis seeks to unsettle some of the conventional languages of citizenship and political belonging by historicizing them: by concentrating on the specific way in which modern citizenship emerged in imperial Britain, and on the material processes by which this citizenship was policed and mapped. The thesis examines a series of different spaces and scales of political belonging. It attempts to keep in focus regimes of visibility, subjectification and governmentality that produce these spaces and the practices of belonging and cultural traditions that wove through them.