British Nationals fighting in Syria may have their citizenship revoked

15th April 2014

The British Government are revoking the citizenship of some British nationals fighting in Syria, amid fears that fighters may return to the UK radicalised. The Home Office has asserted that: “Citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and the Home Secretary will remove British citizenship from individuals where she feels it is conducive to the public good to do so.”

In an increasingly globalised world, in which international travel is more accessible, physically and financially, to more and more people, the control of travel is an important consideration for national governments. Passports confer on the holder the ability to travel internationally – at least across official border controls – but passports are also a means by which governments can control their borders, regulating who may enter. More broadly than this, travel can form an important part of identity, and control of that identity by society: who is allowed to travel and with what degree of freedom? In many societies a solo woman traveller may be disapproved of; in other societies the travelling, non-settled way of life of a community – a key part of their identity – may be feared.

These fascinating questions of travel and identity are explored by the ITC’s Why Travel? project, which uses insights from a range of disciplines – from biology and anthropology to literature and philosophy – to better understand human travel and its complex interactions with human society. For more information see