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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies

 

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.

Debate on the coding of civic integration policies in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Contributions by Ines Michalowski and Ricky van Oers and by Sara Wallace Goodman, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Volume 38, Issue 1, 2012

In their contribution, Ines Michalowski and Ricky van Oers discuss Sara Wallace Goodman's article on civic integration policies in EU 15 ('Integration Requirements for Integration's Sake? Identifying, Categorising and Comparing Civic Integration Policies', JEMS, Volume 36, Issue 5, 2010). They raise two main objections. Firstly, the scores of Goodman's Civic Integration Policy Index (CIVIX), and the policy configurations they produce to enable understanding of state membership strategies, are not replicable with scores from the Migrant Integration Policy Index III or MIPEX (Migration Policy Group 2011). They attribute this to disparities in measurement error. Secondly, there is limited analytical utility of citizenship policy in understanding why states make civic integration choices. In response to these points, Sara Wallace Goodman presents the case that MIPEX and CIVIX indices measure different dimensions of policy and use different scoring rules to do so, and that Michalowski and van Oers infer causality between citizenship and civic integration, misconstruing and misrepresenting her original interpretation of policy significance. 

Their contributions can be downloaded here.



Les frontières de l'« identité nationale ». L'injonction à l'assimilation en France métropolitaine et coloniale

Par Abdellali Hajjat, Editions La Découverte, coll. « Sciences humaines », Paris, 2012

Comment un État-nation trace-t-il les frontières de ce qu’il perçoit comme son « identité » ? Pourquoi et comment, pour y parvenir, cherche-t-il constamment à définir son extériorité au travers d’un Autre jugé « inassimilable » ? En revenant sur les origines historiques de l’injonction à l’assimilation dans la procédure de naturalisation, ce livre cherche d’abord à montrer que ces « frontières » sont mouvantes. Celles-ci sont en effet le fruit de facteurs multiples, liés au contexte social et politique aussi bien qu’aux glissements des significations et des usages du concept même d’« assimilation » (des colonies vers la métropole, du discours politique vers le juridique…).
Mais, outre cette dimension historique, ce livre novateur analyse la manière dont l’administration mesure l’« assimilation » des candidats. Grâce à une enquête minutieuse en préfecture qui aura duré deux ans (2006-2007), l’auteur met ainsi en lumière l’invention des critères d’assimilation et les usages administratifs qui en sont faits, également déterminés par la concurrence de logiques administratives distinctes, les pratiques des agents subalternes et la « naturalisabilité » des candidats.
La « vérité objective » de la naturalisation est particulièrement bien révélée par les cas de refus de naturalisation pour « défaut d’assimilation », qui concernent aujourd’hui principalement des femmes et/ou des musulmans. Ces refus soulèvent ainsi les questions du hijab, de la polygamie et de l’« islamisme », qui constituent à l’heure actuelle autant de frontières à la prétendue « identité nationale ».

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