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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


A New Agenda for Immigration and Citizenship Policy Research

By Marc Helbling and Ines Michalowski, Comparative Political Studies, September 2016

Given the widespread interest in political solutions to the current problems associated with immigration, we need to have an accurate understanding of existing policies in a cross-national perspective. To explain the coming into being and effectiveness of these policies, researchers have recently started to quantify immigration and citizenship policies and built databases across time and a large number of countries. These indices are likely to reconnect political science research with a field from which it has long been disconnected in terms of theories and methodology—the sub-field of migration and citizenship research. This special issue brings together scholars from North America and Europe who have been at the forefront of index-building and have started to employ these indices in empirical research.

Read at the CPS website.



The Demographic Transformations of Citizenship

By Heli Askola, Cambridge University Press, 2016

The Demographic Transformations of Citizenship examines how attempts by contemporary states to govern demographic anxieties are shaping ideas about citizenship both as a boundary-maintaining mechanism and as an ideal of equal membership. These anxieties, while most often centred upon immigration, also stem from other demographic changes unfolding in contemporary states - most notably, the long-standing trend towards lower birth rates and consequent population ageing. With attention to such topics as control over borders, national identity, gender roles, family life and changing stages of life, Askola examines the impact of demographic changes, including but not limited to immigration. Drawing from a variety of disciplines, including law, demography, and sociology, this book discusses how efforts to manage demographic anxieties are profoundly altering ideas about citizenship and belonging.

See details at the publisher’s website.


Reproducing the nation: reproduction, citizenship and ethno-demographic survival in post-communist Romania

By Costica Dumbrava, JEMS, August 2016

The steady decline of fertility rates in Europe raises a number of important questions about the demographic and cultural reproduction of national societies. Apart from being confronted with population shrinkage and ageing, most European societies are also becoming more diverse. Demographic changes tend to exacerbate nationalist anxieties about the physical and cultural survival of the nation. This article develops the concept of national reproduction regime in order to analyse strategies and interventions at the biological, formal, and ethno-cultural levels of reproduction through which states seek to ensure the physical and cultural reproduction of the nation. It outlines the national reproduction regime of post-communist Romania by way of mapping and discussing key policies on biological and formal reproduction, as well as public discourses that frame these policies.

Read on the JEMS website.


Commercializing Citizenship in Crisis EU: The Case of Immigrant Investor Programmes

By Owen Parker, JCMS, August 2016

Immigrant investor programmes (IIPs) – aimed at attracting investment in return for residency or citizenship for wealthy foreigners – have proliferated in EU Member States in recent years. Such schemes constitute part of a much broader commercialization of citizenship, which has intensified during the crisis. They have been particularly controversial in the EU because they rely for their attractiveness in part on the reality of EU citizenship and the rights of mobility and residence that it entails. The European Commission, among others, has presented them as threat to national citizenship and yet the EU at once champions a ‘post-national’ citizenship and is arguably culpable in the very commercialization of citizenship of which investor schemes are a stark manifestation. This paper unpacks the tensions in the theory and politics of investor migration in the recent EU context, arguing that they reveal what is termed a ‘quadrilemma’ at the heart of a multi-level citizenship.

Access at the JCMS website.


Naturalization Trends in the United States

By Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova, Migration Policy Institute, 2016

This article examines the latest U.S. naturalization data available, including historical trends and socioeconomic characteristics of naturalized citizens. Unless otherwise noted, data on the number and characteristics of foreign nationals who naturalized during FY 2014 are from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS).

Read full text on the MPI website.