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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Within and Beyond Citizenship. Borders, Membership and Belonging

By Roberto G. Gonzales and Nando Sigona (eds.), Routledge 2017

Within and Beyond Citizenship brings together cutting-edge research in sociology and social anthropology on the relationship between immigration status, rights and belonging in contemporary societies of immigration. It offers new insights into the ways in which political membership is experienced, spatially and bureaucratically constructed, and actively negotiated and contested in the everyday lives of citizens and non-citizens. Themes, concepts and ideas covered include: The shifting position of the non-citizen in contemporary immigration societies; The intersection of human mobility, immigration control and articulations of citizenship;

Activism and everyday practices of membership and belonging; Tension in policy and practice between coexisting traditions and regimes of rights; Mixed status families, belonging and citizenship; The ways in which immigration status (or its absence) intersects with social cleavages such as age, class, gender and ‘race’ to shape social relations. This book will appeal to academics and practitioners working in the disciplines of Social and Political Anthropology, Sociology, Social Policy, Human Geography, Political Sciences, Citizenship Studies and Migration Studies.

Details at the publishers’ website.


Tu Casa, Mi Casa: Naturalization and Belonging among Latino Immigrants

By Maria Abascal, International Migration review, Summer 2017

Previous studies reach contradictory conclusions regarding the relationship between residential concentration and naturalization. This paper tackles the impasse by exploring the pathways through which immigrant communities influence individual naturalization. Specifically, this study examines naturalization among Latino immigrants using the 2006 Latino National Survey linked to county data. Multilevel model results indicate that the county concentration of naturalized co-ethnics positively predicts individual naturalization, and this relationship operates through two channels: information dissemination and perceived belonging. Regarding the latter, Latino immigrants who live among naturalized co-ethnics identify more strongly as “American,” and strength of American identification mediates nearly one-half of the relationship between concentration and naturalization.

Details at the journal’s website.


Does citizenship always further Immigrants’ feeling of belonging to the host nation? A study of policies and public attitudes in 14 Western democracies

By Kristina Bakkær Simonsen, Comparative Migration Studies, March 2017

Immigrants’ access to citizenship in their country of residence is increasingly debated in Western democracies. It is an underlying premise of these debates that citizenship and national belonging are closely linked, but at the same time there is considerable cross-country variation in how citizenship is approached in Western democracies. In the literature, these differences are typically understood to reflect varying degrees of openness to seeing immigrants as part of the host national community. Motivated by this observation, the article examines whether the degree to which immigrants experience greater attachment to the host nation (i.e. belonging) from having host country citizenship is affected by the host country’s approach to citizenship. This question is analysed with multilevel regressions on survey and country-level data from 14 Western democracies. The findings show that citizenship is associated with increased host national belonging in countries where the host population attaches great importance to citizenship as a mark of national membership, while there is no positive association between citizenship and belonging in countries where the host population considers citizenship less important. Interestingly, citizenship policy does not have a moderating effect on the association between citizenship and national belonging. Implications for future studies of the subjective experience of citizenship are discussed.

Details on the publisher’s website.


Access to Citizenship and the Role of Origin Countries

By Maarten Peter Vink , Tijana Prokic-Breuer, & Jaap Dronkers (†), in Migrant Integration Between Homeland and Host Society, Springer, May 2017

For foreign-born residents and their children, attaining citizenship in the host country confers membership, rights and participation opportunities, and encourages a sense of belonging (Bloemraad 2006). From a destination country perspective, naturalisation is increasingly seen as an important part of the process of integrating immigrants. In order to optimise the use of what is sometimes termed the ‘citizenship premium’, actors in destination countries often advocate public policies that are aimed at increasing naturalisation rates among immigrants (OECD 2011; Sumption and Flamm 2012). The acquisition of citizenship is associated with better employment probability, higher earnings and higher occupational positions (Liebig and Von Haaren 2011). Politically, in a democratic context, citizenship normally qualifies immigrants to take an active part in the electoral politics of the destination country (Pikkov 2011; De Rooij 2012).

Details at the publisher’s website. 


The Determinants of Cross-National Variation in Migrants’ Access to Rights

By Ralph Ittonen Hosoki, Sociological Inquiry, May 2017

States vary in the degree to which rights enjoyed by the native citizenry are conferred upon foreign nationals, and rarely do non-nationals fully enjoy comparable rights unless they naturalize. Extant studies on cross-national variations in access to citizenship are largely qualitative and limited to Western liberal democracies, making generalizable claims difficult, and there is limited theorization on the impact of exogenous global influences on citizenship and nationality laws. This cross-national study utilizes Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression to adjudicate between world cultural and domestic economic, political, and demographic explanations for migrants’ access to rights, using minimum residency length requirement for naturalization as a proxy measure. Results show that international non-governmental organization (INGO) membership is the strongest predictor of cross-national variance in minimum residency length requirements, suggesting that the diffusion of world cultural human rights scripts through cultural linkages with INGOs influences a state's willingness to confer the ultimate means to legal membership and rights.

Read at the journal’s website.