Author Archives: Patrick Weil

About Patrick Weil

Patrick Weil is a senior research fellow at the French National Research Center at the University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and a visiting professor of law at Yale Law School. Professor Weil’s work focuses on comparative citizenship, immigration, and church-state law and policy. His most recent books are Le sens de la République, (with Nicolas Truong, Paris Gallimard-Folio, 2016) and The Sovereign Citizen: Denaturalization and the Origins of the American Republic (Pennsylvania, 2013). Among his other recent publications are “Citizenship, Passports, and the Legal Identity of Americans: Edward Snowden and Others Have a Case in the Courts,” Yale Law Journal Forum 123 (2014); ”Headscarf versus Burqa: Two French Bans with Different Meanings,” in Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival, ed. Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld (Oxford, 2014); and ”From Conditional to Secured and Sovereign: The New Strategic Link Between the Citizen and the Nation-State in a Globalized World,” International Journal of Constitutional Law (2011).

Can a Citizen Be Sovereign?

Since the Rights of Man were proclaimed to be “inalienable,” irreducible to and undeducible from other right or laws, . . . man appeared as the only sovereign in matters of law as the people was proclaimed the only sovereign in matters of government. —Hannah Arendt1 Targeted killings by drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have provoked vigorous debate in the United States about the power the executive holds to order the killing of enemy combatants without due process. However, questions regarding the U.S. Continue reading → Continue reading →

Can a Citizen be Sovereign?

This is a pre-publication version of Patrick Weil’s essay, due to appear in Humanity this year. We post this version in light of pressing political developments in France that revolve around questions of citizenship, immigration, and sovereignty, precisely the themes explored here. Since the Rights of Man were proclaimed to be ‘inalienable’ irreducible to and undeducible from other right or laws, … man appeared as the only sovereign in matters of law as the people was proclaimed the only sovereign in matters of government. — Hannah Arendt Continue reading →