Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Practising transnational citizenship: dual nationality and simultaneous political involvement among emigrants

By Andrea Schlenker, Joachim Blatter and Ieva Birka, JEMS, May 2016

Acceptance of dual citizenship allows migrants to naturalise in the country of residence (CoR) without giving up their former citizenship. For migrant sending countries the question emerges whether emigrants who acquire another citizenship are less attached to and politically active in the country of origin than those who do not. This would be the assumption of traditional perspectives on migration and citizenship. However, according to the transnational perspective neither multiple nationalities, nor participation in and identification with the CoR, preclude ongoing ties and participation back home. We test these perspectives with survey data on Swiss citizens residing in France, Germany, Italy and the US. Our results suggest that Swiss dual citizens abroad are not significantly less attached to and active in Switzerland than their mono national counterparts. Our data further supports the transnational perspective by showing not only simultaneity, but a mutually reinforcing relationship when transnational citizenship is practised. Identification with, and political participation in, the CoR positively relates to equivalent feelings and activities in the country of origin. Since dual citizenship sets the legal foundation for simultaneous involvement in two countries, it correctly assumes a central place in the study of transnational citizenship.

Access via JEMS website. 


Citizenship, Alienage, and the Modern Constitutional State. A Gendered History

By Helen Irving, Cambridge University Press 2016

To have a nationality is a human right. But between the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, virtually every country in the world adopted laws that stripped citizenship from women who married foreign men. Despite the resulting hardships and even statelessness experienced by married women, it took until 1957 for the international community to condemn the practice, with the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Nationality of Married Women. Citizenship, Alienage, and the Modern Constitutional State tells the important yet neglected story of marital denaturalization from a comparative perspective. Examining denaturalization laws and their impact on women around the world, with a focus on Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States, it advances a concept of citizenship as profoundly personal and existential. In doing so, it sheds light on both a specific chapter of legal history and the theory of citizenship in general.

Details at publisher’s website.


‘I won’t naturalize foreigners like crazy’: The Naturalization Campaign in Venezuela, 2004-2006

By Tobias Schwarz, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, April 2016

Between 2004 and 2006, more than 420,000 foreigners, many of them formerly undocumented immigrants, were granted Venezuelan nationality. This article presents the (historical) context, the Venezuelan immigration and nationality policies, and the three core elements of the naturalization campaign. It was integrated into a programme to distribute identity documents to the population (the Misión Identidad), had a specific legal and administrative foundation (a presidential decree), and was carried out by way of large-scale naturalization ceremonies. Criticisms of the campaign included the allegation that naturalizing hundreds of thousands of formerly undocumented immigrants tampered with the foundation of political representation. In order to scrutinize this claim, the article describes the government’s reasons for implementing the naturalization scheme, as well as the criticisms expressed by the political opposition and civil society, as reported in Venezuelan print media, and relates this to how the naturalization campaign has been implemented in practice.

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Does Naturalization Facilitate Integration?A Longitudinal Study on the Consequences of Citizenship Acquisition for Immigrants’ Identification with Germany

By Patrick Fick, Zeitschrift für Soziologie, April 2016

This paper addresses the question of whether naturalization affects identification with the host country on the part of first generation immigrants in Germany. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study contributes to the literature on the positive effects of citizenship acquisition for immigrants’ integration, which so far, has focused on the impact of citizenship acquisition on labor market integration. Naturalization is discussed as an individual investment and unique event in immigrants’ life courses. It is argued that naturalization leads to an increase in national identification both as a means of avoiding dissonance and as a consequence of improved opportunities for identifying with the mainstream society. In summary, this study finds a positive effect of naturalization on national identification regardless of the new citizen’s country of origin. Although country of origin and national identification are generally at odds, further analysis reveals that naturalization may increase the compatibility of both identifications, at least in the case of naturalized Turks.

Access the article here.


Citizenship in the shadow of the Euro crisis: explaining changing patterns in naturalisation among intra-EU migrants

By John Graeber, JEMS, April 2016

The Euro crisis has transformed the European political and economic landscape. Amidst lingering political uncertainties, austerity, high unemployment, and diminished levels of trust in the European project, how has the Euro crisis affected the institution of citizenship within the European Union? While the development of EU citizenship and the number of rights and freedoms attached to it since the 1990s has progressively reduced the incentive of intra-EU migrants to acquire citizenship in other member states, I argue that the Euro crisis and its political and economic consequences have reinvigorated the perceived value of national citizenship. In its wake, many intra-EU migrants, and especially those from the most crisis-stricken countries, may have a renewed incentive naturalise in other member states. Using data collected for 14 Western European countries from 2000 to 2013, I demonstrate how a growing lack of trust in political institutions and economic hardship since the Euro crisis has inspired surprising new naturalisation trends across Europe. Rather than perpetuate a further decline of national citizenship in Europe, the Euro crisis appears to have rendered national citizenship once again politically consequential.

Read the article at JEMS website.