Citizenship serves different interests. It provides security and empowerment for the citizen. For the state, control of citizenship is an attribute of sovereignty which may treat citizenship as a privilege at its behest rather than an individual right claimed in defiance of its interests. This tension is situated within a tripartite relationship also involving international law. However, international law’s insistence on a human right to citizenship is weak and affects the procedural, rather than the substantive, aspects of deprivation. The tension between sovereignty, human rights, and international law will be examined through the lens of citizenship deprivation within counterterrorism. The article will focus on laws and practices in Bahrain and the UK, both states at the forefront of reliance on citizenship deprivation for security purposes. As a result of the weakness of international law, the divergent polities of Bahrain and the UK are both enabled to promote citizenship deprivation.