City Research Online

Opening the Ranks of Constitutional Subjects: Immigration, Identity, and Innovation in Italy and Canada

Strumia, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-0361-7327 & Kaushal, A. (2017). Opening the Ranks of Constitutional Subjects: Immigration, Identity, and Innovation in Italy and Canada. German Law Journal, 18(7), pp. 1657-1682. doi: 10.1017/s2071832200022483


The relationship between immigration and constitutional identity is simultaneously obvious and evasive. This Article explores that relationship through a comparative case study of Italy and Canada. It begins with a conceptual analysis of the role of immigration against the backdrop of collective identity, constitutional identity, and constitutional subjectivity. The metaphor of immigration as a mirror of constitutional identity orients this analysis. Then, an empirical comparison of the role of immigration in Italy and Canada demonstrates the very different place of immigration in national and constitutional narratives of “self” and “other.” Yet, when the lens is widened to include their recent startup visa programs, their narratives start to converge as the new metonymy of innovation makes an appearance. This convergence marks a conceptual shift in constitutional identity: From immigration as mirror to immigration as display. As a tool of attraction for innovators, immigration law has both internal and external dimensions, which reverberate with implications for constitutional identity. Ultimately, the startup visa programs enlarge the constitutional “us” and make constitutional subjectivity more fluid.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2017 by German Law Journal, Inc.
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
SWORD Depositor:
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