Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


EU Citizenship and Withdrawals from the Union. How Inevitable is the Radical Downgrading of Rights?

By Dimitry Kochenov, LEQS Paper No. 111 , June 2016

What are the likely consequences of Brexit for the status and rights of British citizenship? Can the fact that every British national is an EU citizen mitigate the possible negative consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on the plane of rights enjoyed by the citizens of the UK? These questions are not purely hypothetical, as the referendum on June 23 can potentially mark one of the most radical losses in the value of a particular nationality in recent history. This paper reviews the possible impact that the law and practice of EU citizenship can have on the conduct of Brexit negotiations and surveys the possible strategies the UK government could adopt in extending at least some EU-level rights to UK citizens post-Brexit. The high cost of such rights at the negotiating table is discussed against the general backdrop of the legal-historical analysis of the tradition of flexibility in citizenship and territorial governance which clearly emerges in EU law once the post-colonial context is considered in full. A particular emphasis is put on the possibility of negotiating post-Brexit bilateral free-movement arrangements with select Member States: a deeply problematic practice from the point of view of non-discrimination and the basic idea of European unity. Aiming to address the core issues of the role of EU citizenship in the context of withdrawals from the Union the conclusions of the paper, pointing to a quasi-inevitable overwhelming downgrade in citizenship rights for the withdrawing state, are applicable to any withdrawal context, not limited to the UK per se.

Access through SSRN.


Nationality Requirements in in Olympic Sports

By Anna Sabrina Wollmann, Wolf Publishers, June 2016

Who may compete for a country at the Olympics? While the qualification rounds for the Rio Olympics have received huge media attention, the underlying question regarding which country an athlete may compete for only makes headlines when prominent athletes change the country for whom they are competing. Nationality requirements are an issue that has yet to be brought to the forefront of public discussion, as most recent works have only focussed on a small number of Olympic sports.

This book explores the terra incognita of nationality requirements in Olympic sports, providing not only a comprehensive overview of the different sports, but also placing them in the wider context of the international standards of nationality law. The following questions are examined: What are the eligibility criteria currently employed by the Olympic Sports? To what extent is it problematic to align these currently applicable eligibility criteria with international standards of nationality law? How can tensions that may exist between the criteria applied by the sporting federations and the international standards of nationality law be solved?

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Terror and the loss of citizenship

By Christian Joppke, Citizenship Studies, June 2016

Terror in the name of God and the specter of returning fighters for the so-called ‘Islamic State’ have recently moved some Western states, including Britain, Canada, and France, toward revoking the citizenship of terrorists. To critics, this constitutes a ‘return to banishment,’ a ‘fate universally decried by civilized people,’ as an American Supreme Court Chief Justice put it in the late 1950s. In a double reflection on the changing nature of terror and of citizenship, this paper argues that denationalization is, in principle, the adequate response to terror. This is because terror, particularly of the Islamist kind, is no ordinary crime but attack on the fundaments of citizenship. But what is right in principle may not be the right thing to do, because denationalization raises serious practicality problems.

Read at the journal’s website.


Ethics & International Affairs 30th anniversary volume, responses to Patti Tamara Lenard’s article on denationalisation

By Elizabeth F. Cohen, Ben Herzog, David Miller, and Patti Tamara Lenard, Ethics & International Affairs, June 2016

The second issue in EIA’s 30th anniversary volume includes an exchange discussing Patti Tamara Lenard’s article on democracies and the power to revoke citizenship (EIA 30.1), with contributions by Elizabeth F. Cohen, Ben Herzog, and David Miller, and with a reply by Patti Tamara Lenard.

Read at the Ethics & International Affairs website.



Ethnicizing citizenship, questioning membership. Explaining the decreasing family migration rights of citizens in Europe

By Saskia Bonjour and Laura Block, Citizenship Studies, June 2016

Citizenship does not equal belonging. In this paper, we investigate how the disjunction between the ‘imagined community’ and the formal citizenry impacts on citizens’ rights. In particular, we analyse decision-making on the family migration rights of citizens in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Our analysis shows that in these three countries, notwithstanding their different migration and citizenship regimes, the reduction of citizens’ family migration rights is based on the same discursive mechanism: the ‘membership’ of citizens of migrant origin who marry a partner from abroad is called into question. As they are excluded from membership of the imagined community, their entitlement to family migration rights is decreased. Ethnic conceptions of national community, intersecting with gender and class, play a crucial role in shaping the rights attached to citizenship in Europe today.

Read at the journal's website.