Marc Morjé Howard, Professor of Government at Georgetown University, reviews Paper Citizens, How Illegal Immigrants Acquire Citizenship in Developing Countries. The book details how the use of documents like birth certificates, health cards, voter ID cards and others is inconsistent and prone to corruption in developing countries. As a result, the state’s ability to distinguish between its citizens and illegal immigrants is weakened. As developing countries increase their use of official documents, illegal immigrants manage to acquire “documentary citizenship,” or legal citizenship based on fraudulent premises. The book draws on research of Bangladeshis in India, Indonesians and Filipinos in Malaysia and Afghans and Bangladeshis in Pakistan.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2010.00815.x.