© 2018

The Paradox of Citizenship in American Politics

Ideals and Reality


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Mehnaaz Momen
    Pages 1-23
  3. Mehnaaz Momen
    Pages 25-63
  4. Mehnaaz Momen
    Pages 189-227
  5. Mehnaaz Momen
    Pages 229-242
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 243-265

About this book


This book is an exploration of American citizenship, emphasizing the paradoxes that are contained, normalized, and strengthened by the gaps existing between proposed policies and real-life practices in multiple arenas of a citizen’s life. The book considers the evolution of citizenship through the journey of the American nation and its identity, its complexities of racial exclusion, its transformations in response to domestic demands and geopolitical challenges, its changing values captured in immigration policies and practices, and finally its dynamics in terms of the shift in state power vis-à-vis citizens. While it aspires to analyze the meaning of citizenship in America from the multiple perspectives of history, politics, and policy, it pays special attention to the critical junctures where rhetoric and reality clash, allowing for the production of certain paradoxes that define citizenship rights and shape political discourse. 


American Citizenship American citizen Cultural hegemony citizenship definition Nation-Building Immigration Multuiculturalism Critical Race Theory American exceptionalism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Social SciencesTexas A&M International UniversityLaredoUSA

About the authors

Mehnaaz Momen is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Texas A & M International University in Laredo, Texas, where she teaches courses in Political Science, Urban Studies, and Public Administration.

Bibliographic information


“On the whole, the book is engagingly written and has much to commend it.” (Peter Kivisto, Journal of Citizenship and Globalisation Studies, Vol. 2(1), 2018)​