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The deprivations with which we are here concerned are those imposed upon individuals on the ground that they do not possess the "nationality" of the imposing state. By nationality we refer to the "characterizations" states make of individuals for the purpose of controlling and protecting them for the many comprehensive concerns of states. Since the larger transnational community honors states in the conferment and withdrawal of "nationality" upon many different grounds—including place of birth, blood relation, subjective identification of individuals, and various activities—these characterizations may bear little relation to the actual facts of particular community membership and, hence, to reasonable differentiations in terms of common interest in the larger community of mankind. It is our thesis that most deprivations imposed through these characterizations are made unlawful, not merely by the historic law of the responsibility of states, but also by a newly emerged general norm of nondiscrimination which seeks to forbid all generic differentiations among people in access to value shaping and sharing for reasons irrelevant to individual capabilities and contribution.

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