New Edition: “Legal Identity, Race and Belonging in the Dominican Republic”

With a foreword by Junot Díaz, a paperback edition of Eve Hayes de Kalaf’s Legal Identity, Race and Belonging in the Dominican Republic: From Citizen to Foreigner (Anthem Press, 2023) will be launched at The Heath Bookshop with a Q&A session hosted by Dr. Kamran Khan (University of Birmingham). [To register, see link below.]

“This book provides a cautionary tale regarding legal identity practices as promulgated by the World Bank, UN, and Inter-American Development Bank. It warns that policies encouraging the en masse registration of native-born migrant-descended populations can also force the thorny question of nationality, unsettling long-established identities and entitlements.” 

Description: Over the next decade, states will be carrying out large-scale registrations in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to provide more than one billion people around the world with evidentiary proof of their legal and, increasingly, digital existence. ‘Legal Identity, Race and Belonging: From Citizen to Foreigner’ is an important book which identifies a connection between the role of international actors, such as the World Bank and the United Nations, in promulgating the universal provision of legal identity and links these with arbitrary measures to restrict access to citizenship paperwork from (largely) Haitian-descended people born and living in the Dominican Republic.

The book provides the definitive analysis of the events leading up to the controversial 2013 Constitutional Tribunal ruling that rendered the Dominican plaintiff Juliana Deguis Pierre stateless. Hayes de Kalaf illustrates how measures that purposely blocked people of Haitian ancestry from accessing their legal identity not only affected undocumented and stateless populations – persons living at the fringes of citizenship – but also had a major impact on documented people; Dominicans already in possession of a state-issued birth certificate, national identity card and/or passport. The book illustrates the complex and contradictory ways in which digital identity systems are experienced, thus challenging the assumption within current development policy that the provision of ID to everyone, everywhere will lead to the inclusion of all citizens.

Dr Eve Hayes de Kalaf is Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, an MA from UCL Institute of the Americas and a PGDip from the Universidad Católica Santo Domingo. Eve’s research examines the use and abuse of modern-day identity-based development ‘solutions’ – including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which aim to provide all people, everywhere with a legal and, increasingly, digital identity over the next decade. Her work focuses specifically on access to citizenship to examine how states can manufacture, block or deny access to citizens to their documentation.

For more information on the book, see

To register for the launch, go to

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