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In Vitro Nations


 In Vitro Nations: Assisted Reproduction Technologies and National Citizenship


imageThe rapid and global spread of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) generates concrete problems related to children’s access to citizenship and raises important questions about the normative justifications of birthright citizenship. This project investigates regulations on reproduction and citizenship as two interrelated strategies through which states seek to control the intergenerational reproduction of national communities.

All human societies seek to ensure continuity over generations through establishing norms on the “production” of new members (sexuality, marriage, procreation) and the reproduction of membership (kinship, citizenship). In modern times citizenship regulations play a key role in ensuring the intergenerational continuity of the national community. They do so by relying heavily on birthright entitlements; most children nowadays acquire citizenship through descent from citizens (ius sanguinis) or due to birth in the territory (ius soli). The recent development of ART challenges these two mechanisms of birthright citizenship because it (partly) alienates individual reproduction from the traditional (heterosexual – nuclear – biological) family model and from the national territory.The guiding research question of this project is: How assisted reproduction technologies challenge the intergenerational model of national citizenship?


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