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Journal article

Post-National Citizenship, Social Exclusion and Migrants Rights: Mexican Seasonal Workers in Canada




Tanya Basok


In the past few decades, migrants residing in many European & North American countries have benefited from nation-states' extension of legal rights to non-citizens. This development has prompted many scholars to reflect on the shift from a state-based to a more individual-based universal conception of rights & to suggest that national citizenship has been replaced by post-national citizenship. However, in practice migrants are often deprived of some rights. The article suggests that the ability to claim rights denied to some groups of people depends on their knowledge of the legal framework, communications skills, & support from others. Some groups of migrants are deprived of the knowledge, skills, & support required to negotiate their rights effectively because of their social exclusion from local communities of citizens. The article draws attention to the contradiction in two citizenship principles -- one linked to legal rights prescribed by international conventions & inscribed through international agreements & national laws & policies, & the other to membership in a community. Commitment to the second set of principles may negate any achievements made with respect to the first. The article uses Mexican migrants working in Canada as an illustration, arguing that even though certain legal rights have been granted to them, until recently they had been unable to claim them because they were denied social membership in local & national communities. Recent initiatives among local residents & union & human rights activists to include Mexican workers in their communities of citizens in Leamington, Ontario, Canada, are likely to enhance the Mexican workers' ability to claim their rights. 52 References. Adapted from the source document.

Journal title

Citizenship Studies





Page numbers


File Attachments


Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Regulation domains

Right to change employer, Right to choose place of residence, Right to unionize, Labour standards, Health and safety at work, Newcomers integration programs, Health care & social services, Access to permanent status, Family reunification, Right to liberty, and Right to dignity

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, México, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, and Nova Scotia

Spheres of activity

Law and Sociology