Unbelonging and the Citizen-Other in Canada and France
MetadataShow full item record
Through a theorization of the production of the citizen-other, this dissertation investigates how "radicalization", "terrorism", and "laïcité" have been mobilized to erode citizenship rights of Muslims in two primary sites, Canada and France, and one secondary but related site, Quebec. Specifically, this research questions how the figure of the radicalized “homegrown terrorist” and the racialized surveillance that surrounds its epistemological construction is differently deployed by two different, but colonially connected nations to bolster normative (legal, governmental, media) articulations of citizenship. Reading across separate yet bounded colonial and contemporary archives, I point to specific moments when citizenship law was revisited, altered, and amended to account for the indigène, the immigrant, and the Muslim-other. Considering how gendered and racializing stereotypes construct the figure of the Muslim as dangerous foreign-other, I demonstrate how such cultural imaginaries are anchored in colonial and orientalist repertoires that continue to inform discourses of citizenship and belonging. Setting the disciplinary norms of citizenship and belonging for tomorrow’s political subjects, schools and other educational systems constitute a fertile ground for the analysis of disciplinary and regulatory mechanisms to exclude those deemed to unbelong to the nation. I therefore analyze three “anti-radicalization” action-plans as case-studies, one in France through the Grande Mobilisation de l’École pour les Valeurs de la République, and two in Canada through Alberta’s Extreme Dialogue, and Quebec’s La Radicalisation au Quebec: Agir, Prévenir, Détecter et le Vivre Ensemble. These case-studies uncover how such programs are used to discipline Muslim youth and reflect particularized image of liberal values, rendering them docile and obedient national subjects. Following these insights, this dissertation argues for the need to critically reexamine how and in what ways each nation—Canada and France—navigates the tensions between Islam, citizenship, and belonging as direct outcome of their different, yet connected, histories.