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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


The Determinants of Naturalization in Switzerland between 2010 and 2012


By Alicia Loretan and Philippe Wanner, nccr-on the move Working Paper, 2017

Naturalization is an important phenomenon for countries, not only because of its implications (it grants duties and rights to new citizens) but also because of its policy-sensitive aspect. In Switzerland, it is also a complex phenomenon because of the diversity of procedures at the canton and commune levels. Knowledge of the determinants of naturalization is still lacking. In this context, this study presents two explanatory models of naturalization in Switzerland between 2010 and 2012, using statistical data prepared in the framework of the nccr – On the Move IP 1 Project, and analyzes their impacts on the naturalization (or lack thereof) of individuals, using binary logistic regressions. These models include sociodemographic variables, migration-linked variables and commune-related variables. Age, employment status (particularly unemployment), length of residence, country of origin and proportion of foreigners within the commune are the most explanatory variables of the naturalization of individuals, confirming the results of previous studies in Switzerland and abroad.

Full text here.


Distance as a cost of cross-border voting

By Johanna Peltoniemi, Research on Finnish Society, 2016

Globalisation and European integration have led to increased mobility, and a growing number of countries have enfranchised their emigrant citizens. However, the political participation of Nordic emigrants has hitherto been a scantly investigated issue. This article examines which factors influence the voting likelihood of emigrants; does distance influence as a cost of cross- border voting, and how does time lived abroad influences emigrants’ decision to vote in the parliamentary elections, both in homeland and in the country of residence. The statistical analyses are based on data collected from 1,067 Finnish emigrants in 2014. The results sug- gest that distance to the nearest polling station plays a significant role in the emigrant voting decision. Furthermore, we find that emigrants’ probability to vote in the homeland elections decline with time, whereas the probability to vote in the country of residence increases. This study provides a new understanding of voter behaviour in globalised world, and the findings of this article can be used to develop targeted interventions aimed at ameliorating transnational political participation.

Full text here. 


Catalyst or Crown: Does Naturalization Promote the Long-Term Social Integration of Immigrants?

By Jens Hainmueller, Dominik Hangartner and Giuseppe Pietrantuono, American Political Science Review, 2017

We study the impact of naturalization on the long-term social integration of immigrants into the host country society. Despite ongoing debates about citizenship policy, we lack reliable evidence that isolates the causal effect of naturalization from the nonrandom selection into naturalization. We exploit the quasi-random assignment of citizenship in Swiss municipalities that used referendums to decide on naturalization applications of immigrants. Comparing otherwise similar immigrants who narrowly won or lost their naturalization referendums, we find that receiving Swiss citizenship strongly improved long-term social integration. We also find that the integration returns to naturalization are larger for more marginalized immigrant groups and when naturalization occurs earlier, rather than later in the residency period. Overall, our findings support the policy paradigm arguing that naturalization is a catalyst for improving the social integration of immigrants rather than merely the crown on the completed integration process.

See at the journal’s website.


Regional and National Elections in Eastern Europe. Territoriality of the Vote in Ten Countries

By Arjan H. Schakel (ed.), Palgrave, 2017

This book is the second of two studies which systematically explore territoriality of the vote in Europe. They investigate when and where voters treat regional elections differently from national contests and aim to increase our understanding of the dynamics of electoral competition, which have become increasingly multifarious and complex in many countries due to the establishment and strengthening of regional government. This volume brings together leading experts on elections who analyze differences between regional and national electoral outcomes in ten East European countries since 1990. Based on a common analytical framework, each chapter investigates congruence between regional and national elections and traces and explains second-order and regional election effects. The editors applied a similar analytical framework in Regional and National Elections in Western Europe (Palgrave, 2013) which focused on 13 West European countries, enabling the authors to compare regional electoral dynamics between Eastern and Western Europe and observe to what extent explanations for territorial heterogeneity in the vote in the West also apply to the East. This book will be of particular interest to advanced students and scholars in the fields of comparative politics, regional studies, Eastern-European politics, and democratization. 

Details at publisher’s website.


The Extraordinary Statelessness of Deepan Budlakoti: The Erosion of Canadian Citizenship Through Citizenship Deprivation

By Daiva Stasiulis, Studies in Social Justice 11(1), 2017

As part of the larger trend towards “securitization” of citizenship, citizenship deprivation in Canada is becoming increasingly normalized, resulting in some cases in statelessness. In this article, I pursue a sociology of statelessness by examining its localized production and connections to a broader network of social and material relations. I do this through a case study of Canadian-born Deepan Budlakoti, who at age 22 was informed that he was in fact not Canadian, and lacking any other citizenship, was rendered stateless. Actor-Network Theory is employed to trace how it is that legal documental and heterogeneous networks of humans and things (e.g., a “legal technicality”) have been enrolled to produce a legal decision declaring that Budlakoti, despite his Canadian birth certificate and passports, was never a Canadian citizen. Yet because he has not exhausted all avenues to acquisition of some citizenship (e.g., in India or Canada), he also has failed to secure recognition of his statelessness. A particular innovation in this analysis is the exploration of the exemption in the Canadian Citizenship Act from jus soli citizenship for children born to foreign diplomatic staff. Networks of immigration tribunal and court judgements, and documents treated as evidence have connected and translated into establishing Budlakoti’s fit with this exemption, despite countervailing evidence and a lifetime of documented and state-assisted reproduction of his Canadianness. While robbed of his legal and social identity, and suffering the egregious consequences of statelessness, Budlakoti continues to campaign for restoration of his right to have rights within his country of birth.

Details at the journal’s website.