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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Much Ado About Not-Very-Much? Assessing Ten Years of German Citizenship Reform

By Simon Green, Citizenship Studies 16(2) 2012

This article examines the development and impact of German citizenship policy over the past decade. As its point of departure, it takes the 2000 Citizenship Law, which sought to undertake a full-scale reform and liberalisation of access to German membership. The article discusses this law's content and subsequent amendments, focusing particularly on its quantitative impact, asking why the number of naturalisations has been lower than originally expected. The article outlines current challenges to the law's structure operation and identifies potential trajectories for its future development.

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Who is the Greek Citizen? Status of the Greek nationality from the creation of the Greek State till the dawn of the 21st century

By Dimitris Christopoulos, Vivliorama Pub. Athens, 2012

“Who is the Greek citizen?’’ is par excellence an open question.  A question that has been giving ground to semantic contradictions and different political apprehending, stimulating - in turn - further questions: Which are the criteria that have been used to define “who is the Greek citizen?” during the last two centuries since the emergence of the modern Greek nation-state in 1821 and until today? Have those criteria been stable in time or shifting? And if they have been shifting, how often do they change and why? What similar criteria of membership in a political community can they be compared with? Which have been the decisive factors that enabled non-Greeks to become Greek citizens? Who was included in, and who was excluded from such processes of citizenship granting and acquisition? What have been the expectations of the state from its citizens? And to what extend is citizenship overwhelmed with ideology?
This book deals with such questions and proposes a short route in the history of the Greek nation through citizenship’s perspective, while pointing out recent challenges. It shows that questions about citizenship resonate with themes and issues beyond the narrow legal bond between state and the individual, and can further our understanding about the community and the polity itself.
’Who is the Greek citizen?’’ is a question worth to be posed, especially today when the country undergoes a period of extreme uncertainty and political cruelty. A question that, by all means, has had and still has a great impact on the destiny of people with a ‘genuine link’ to Greece; even - or mostly - during the country’s most difficult times. 

Explaining access to citizenship in Europe: How citizenship policies affect naturalization rates

By Jaap Dronkers and Maarten P. Vink, European Union Politics, September 2012 13(3)

In Europe, a variety of national policies regulate access to citizenship. This article analyses how citizenship policies affect naturalization rates among immigrants. Our analysis confirms that favourable citizenship policies positively affect naturalization rates, especially among first-generation immigrants with more than 5 but fewer than 20 years of residence. However, most variation is explained by other factors. Immigrants from poor, politically unstable, and non-EU countries are more likely to be a citizen of their European country of residence. Other important predictors of the citizenship status of immigrants are language, years of residence (first generation), and age (second generation). Explanations of naturalization rates in Europe should not only take into account institutional conditions but also include other destination and origin country factors and individual characteristics of immigrants.

Further information here.

Dual Nationality in the European Union

By Olivier W. Vonk, Brill, Leiden, 2012

This book examines the phenomenon of dual nationality in the European Union, particularly against the background of the status of European citizenship – a status that is linked to the nationality of each EU Member State. While the first part of the book sets out the current approach towards (dual) nationality in Public and Private International Law as well as in EU Law, the second part consists of an (historical) overview of the dual nationality regimes in two traditional immigration countries (France and the Netherlands) and two traditional emigration countries (Italy and Spain). The book shows, from the perspective of dual nationality, that the autonomy of Member States in the field of nationality law is becoming increasingly problematic for the EU. The author therefore takes the position that there is arguably a need for the (minimum) harmonization of European nationality laws.

Find further information on this book here.

Zur Weiterentwicklungsfähigkeit des Menschenrechts auf Staatsangehörigkeit: Deutet sich in Europa ein migrationsbedingtes Recht auf Staatsangehörigkeit an - auch unter Hinnahme der Mehrstaatigkeit?

By Sükrü Uslucan, Duncker & Humblot Verlag, Berlin, 2012

This book asks how the original concept of a “right to citizenship (nationality)” has to be further developed with respect to the current context of migration and corresponding steps to Europeanise migrations policies as well as national citizenship laws, especially for home-grown migrants (second and subsequent generations). Background parameters are: the changing nature of nation-states and international law, especially in the context of the EU and emerging new meanings of human rights.
The analysis starts from the status of stateless people, especially children. Then it tries to establish the next two steps: (1) the right to be naturalised in the country of residence and (2) toleration of dual nationality. The book argues that dual nationality should be accepted at least until the 3rd or 4th generation. After the 5th generation, the migrants have to proof sufficient connections to the old home country to keep the other citizenship. A generational acceptance of dual nationality seems to be an appropriate approach for all parties involved. The idea to reduce cases of dual nationality makes sense in the long run, but it should be the law of the country of origin that cuts the connection with the diaspora. More important is that it shouldn’t any longer be an argument for the countries of residence to block migrants’ access to their citizenship – in some cases across generations – even if most of them fulfil all the requirements, except the renunciation of their previous citizenship, which is mostly due to emotional reasons rather than rational interests. Social as well psychological evidence supports the norm of “acceptance of the others” (Habermas) and a society that welcomes newcomers.

Find further information on this book here.