New article by Matthew Gibney explores history of banishment

18 December, 2019

A new article by Professor Matthew Gibney in Citizenship Studies explores the historical punishment of 'banishment' and how it relates to modern debates about denationalisation.

Over the last decade, as new laws allowing individuals to be stripped of citizenship have sprung up across Western states, many drawn an analogy between denationalisation and the hitherto discarded medieval punishment of banishment. In this article, Gibney aims to explain why banishment disappeared from modern societies so as to understand better the character of its contemporary ‘revival’. He draws on a wealth of historical work on the practice of banishment to paint a picture of its development since ancient Greece.

Gibney suggests that while banishment proved itself compatible with varied ways of conceptualising citizenship and societal purposes across the ancient, medieval and early modern worlds, the rise of territorial state and nationalised conceptions of membership in the 19th century undermined the punishment. He argues that modern denationalisation revives banishment but only in a highly modified and constrained form.

Matthew Gibney (2019) 'Banishment and the pre-history of legitimate expulsion power', Citizenship Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2019.1700044