Citizenship: A birthright lottery?

Should folks fortunate enough to be born in the ‘developed’ world be obliged to share their privilege with those less lucky? Author – and Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Ayelet Shachar thinks so. In her new book “The Birthright Lottery”, Shachar investigates the accident of birth and proposes several ways to reconsider (and bestow) citizenship.

Arguing that citizenship status has been arbitrarily given in most nations by birthright and that a child born in Canada ought not have such an unfair advantage over a child born in a poor nation. Among Shachar’s suggestions is a levy on “the inheritance of citizenship” or that citizenship be awarded based on the individual’s “genuine connection” to a country. Shachar asks important and provocative questions on what responsibilities global citizens have to each other.