The American Passport in Turkey

Özlem Altan-Olcay and Evren Balta. The American Passport: National Citizenship in the Age of Transnationalism. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.

The American Passport in Turkey


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The American Passport in Turkey is the culmination of our work of the last seven years. In this book, we explore the diverse meanings and values that people outside of the United States attribute to U.S. citizenship, specifically those who possess or seek to obtain U.S. citizenship while residing in Turkey. We have interviewed more than one hundred individuals and families for it: Turkish families who have given birth to their children in the United States; Turkish-American citizens who have lived in the U.S.A. for extended periods of time but have decided to return to Turkey; and natural-born American citizens who, for various reasons, ended up permanently building their lives in Turkey. Through their narratives, we shed light on how U.S. citizenship is imagined, experienced, and practiced in a setting where everyday life is marked by numerous uncertainties and unequal opportunities. Offering a corrective to citizenship studies where discussions of inequality are largely limited to domestic frames, we argue that the relationship between inequality and citizenship regimes can only be fully understood if considered transnationally. We demonstrate how the U.S. global power manifests in the meanings and values that people attribute to U.S. citizenship, even when they do not intend to live in the United States or support US government policies.

The American Passport in Turkey has won the 2020 American Sociological Association, Global and Transnational Sociology Section,

Best Book by an International Scholar Award


Ethnic and Racial Studies

Gender, Place and Culture

H-Net Reviews

International Migration 

Uluslararası İlişkiler

We talk about our book…

The Fading Allure of the American Passport? (with E. Balta) Informed Comment. August 2020.

Cesur Yeni Dünya: Değişen İmparatorluk, Yeni Vatandaşlık. (with E. Balta) Perspektif Online. May 2020.