[LMB] Citizenship?

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 1 03:36:05 GMT 2021

From: Edith <khoreutees at yahoo.com>

Well, I think these are interesting questions, so will inflict my
gratuitous speculation about citizenship on Barrayar on you all.

Gwynne: You've raised some fascinating points. On the question
of subject vs citizen, I'd guess that out in the Nexus most people
would automatically use 'citizen' and not understand the
difference of 'subject'. I think on Barrayar it's always 'subject'.

There are at least two things that complicate this picture however. In
'The Warrior's Apprentice' we see with Arde Mayhew the possibility that
someone may be a subject of Gregor's by virtue of his oath to Miles, but
retains Betan citizenship/nationality. ....

Gwynne: True, but it would be an exceptionally rare case.

The second complication is Komarr. ...

Gwynne: Very much so. They seem to retain their own legal
system, that doesn't always fit well with Barrayar's. I'm sure
that they see themselves as citizens of Komarr, and don't really
focus much on the Barrayaran-subject status except when
travelling the Nexus. But being a subject of Barrayar would definitely
be the official status.

> Since Enrique married Martha, is he now a Barrayan subject?

My guess is not (or at least not automatically).
We know from Captain Vorpatril's Alliance that a woman who marries a
Barrayaran subject automatically becomes a Barrayaran subject (by virtue
of the marriage oath). It could be that the same applies to a man
marrying a Barrayaran subject, but I suspect not. .....

Gwynne: Yes, I think that the rules are changing slowly, but that
there's still some differences between the rules for male and female.
So if Martya marries Enrique she could have the right to claim
Escobaran citizenship, or to stay as a Barrayaran subject. Enrique
could become Barrayaran, which may solve some of his legal problems
(although I'm sure that at some point Mark pays the investors off, unless
of course he wants to keep Enrique stuck on Barrayar... hmm... knowing
Mark that's very possible.) Enrique could probably become a Barrayaran
subject; he doesn't have any convictions (yet) on Escobar, and I don't
know if there's a statute of limitations

The other fascinating (to me) question is why Miles has a Betan passport
and at what stage (if ever) he is required to renounce Betan
citizenship. Or to put it another way, does Barrayar allow dual

Gwynne: I think it's mentioned somewhere that Miles's Betan passport
is for security. I don't know if ordinary subjects would have, or need, that
level of protection. And until relatively recently, in the books, there
probably wasn't much Nexus-intermarrying, so it would be an unusual

Gwynne: Here's some more questions: what's the status of Barrayaran-borns
who go to Komarr and marry someone there? Do they fall under Komarran
laws? Or do they have to follow Barrayaran rules? (As with Ekaterin's problems
getting Nikki's treatment done.)
Can Barrayaran law allow dual citizenship? Surely if you take oath to your
Emperor, you renounce other loyalties?
And what about District loyalties? Does a wife automatically take on the District
of her husband?
And... what about Sergyar? I think that has to be a whole new thread!

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