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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Should Citizenship be Conditional? The Ethics of Denationalization

By Matthew J. Gibney, The Journal of Politics 75, 3 (July 2013). 

While many political theorists have focused on the question of whether states have a duty to grant citizenship to noncitizens, this article examines the issues associated with the state’s withdrawal of citizenship. Denationalization powers have recently emerged as a controversial political issue in a number of liberal states, making their ethical scrutiny important. I begin by considering the historical practice of banishment and how denationalization power emerged and became consolidated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. I then discuss the nature of liberal objections to the power. My focus next shifts to the United Kingdom’s Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002, which attempted to create a “liberal” denationalization power. In the final section of the article, I discuss whether the Act successfully addresses liberal concerns and in so doing shed light on the possibility of reconciling liberal principles with conditional citizenship.

Citizenship configurations: analysing the multiple purposes of citizenship regimes in Europe

By Maarten P. Vink and Rainer Bauböck, Comparative European Politics, June 2013

 This article presents an analysis of the multiple purposes of citizenship regimes in 36 states in Europe. Previous studies on this topic suffer from two methodological deficits that lead to an incomplete perspective on how states regulate citizenship status: they emphasise the importance of static national membership models and focus nearly exclusively on the access to citizenship for immigrants. To overcome these deficits, we develop a citizenship regime typology based on functional components of citizenship laws, focusing on acquisition as well as loss, inside as well as outside the territory of a state. We find that citizenship regimes in Europe configure along two dimensions that can be associated with territorial and ethnocultural inclusion, which result in four types: territorially and ethnoculturally selective regimes that are inclusive on only one of these dimensions, expansive regimes that are inclusive on both dimensions and insular regimes that restrict both inclusions.

Immigrant naturalization in the context of institutional diversity: policy matters, but to whom?

By Maarten P. Vink, Tijana Prokic-Breuer and Jaap Dronkers, International Migration (2013)

Why do some immigrants naturalize and others not? While much of the literature emphasizes the importance of country of origin features and individual characteristics, there is surprisingly little systematic research on the relation between citizenship policies in destination countries and citizenship take-up among immigrants. Most research in this field draws on data from single country cases and has limited comparative scope. In this paper we analyze citizenship take-up among first generation immigrants in 16 European countries. We apply an explicit cross-national perspective and argue that immigrant naturalization in Europe is determined not only by country of origin features and individual characteristics, but also by the opportunity structure set by the citizenship laws in the countries of origin and destination. We show that more accessible citizenship policies matter little for immigrants from highly developed countries, particularly those with fewer years of residence, but matter significantly for immigrants from less developed countries. As the composition of immigrant populations and citizenship policies across Europe vary significantly, this comparative design is ideally suited to testing the relative importance of factors related to country of origin, individual background and legal opportunity structure.

When Legal Worlds Collide: An Exploration of What Happens when EU Free Movement Law Meets UK Immigration Law

By Jo Shaw and Nina Miller, European Law Review, April 2013, 38 Issue 2

This article explores the interactions between the EU rules on the free movement of persons and the institutions and legal structures of UK immigration law, by providing a case study of the implementation of EU free movement rules in the United Kingdom in relation to immigration-related questions such as first entry and residence, stability of residence and family reunion. The research is based on the analysis of both legal doctrine and interview data. The narrow conclusion of the article is that adversarial relationships between the various stakeholders have arisen in this domain, and may hinder the effective application of EU law. In some fields, there has been a consistent failure to apply the correct EU principles at national level, especially on the part of the UK Border Agency. The broader conclusion concerns the capacity of this type of contextualised analysis to provider richer comparisons between legal sectors and Member States, offering a more nuanced view of how the worlds of EU law and national law intersect.

A Political History of National Citizenship and Identity in Italy, 1861–1950

By Sabina Donati, Stanford University Press, 2013

This book examines the fascinating origins and the complex evolution of Italian national citizenship from the unification of Italy in 1861 until just after World War II. It does so by exploring the civic history of Italians in the peninsula, and of Italy's colonial and overseas native populations. Using little-known documentation, Sabina Donati delves into the policies, debates, and formal notions of Italian national citizenship with a view to grasping the multi-faceted, evolving, and often contested vision(s) of italianità. In her study, these disparate visions are brought into conversation with contemporary scholarship pertaining to alienhood, racial thinking, migration, expansionism, and gender. As the first English-language book on the modern history of Italian citizenship, this work highlights often-overlooked precedents, continuities, and discontinuities within and between liberal and fascist Italies. It invites the reader to compare the Italian experiences with other European ones, such as French, British, and German citizenship traditions.