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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


A multilevel puzzle: Migrants’ voting rights in national and local elections

By Jean-Thomas Arrighi and Rainer Bauböck, EJPR, October 2016

How does international migration impact the composition of the demos? Constitutional doctrines and democratic theories suggest contrasting responses: an insular one excludes both non-citizen immigrants and citizen-emigrants; a deterritorialised one includes all citizens wherever they reside; a postnational one includes all residents and only these. This article argues that none of these predicted responses represents the dominant pattern of democratic adaptation, which is instead a level-specific expansion of the national franchise to include non-resident citizens and of the local franchise to include non-citizen residents. This is demonstrated by analysing an original dataset on voting rights in 31 European and 22 American countries, and outlining a level-sensitive normative theory of citizenship that provides support for this pattern as well as a critical benchmark for current franchise policies. The findings can be summarised in two inductive generalisations: (1) Voting rights today no longer depend on residence at the national level and on citizenship of the respective state at the local level; (2) Voting rights do, however, generally depend on citizenship of the respective state at the national level and on residence at the local level. In the article, these are called the patterns of franchise ‘expansion’ and ‘containment’. The former supports the idea of widespread level-specific expansion of the franchise and refutes the insular view of the demos. The latter signals corresponding level-specific restrictions, which defeats over-generalised versions of deterritorialised or postnational conceptions of the demos. In order to test how robust this finding is, cases are analysed where the dominant patterns of expansion have been resisted and where unexpected expansion has occurred. With regard to the former, the article identifies constitutional and political obstacles to voting rights expansion in particular countries. With regard to the latter, the article shows that even where national voting rights have been extended to non-citizen residents, containment remains strong through indirect links to citizenship.

Read full text at the website of EJPR.


Democratic Representation and the Property Franchise in Australian Local Government

By Yee-Fui Ng, Ken Coghill, Paul Thornton-Smith, and Marta Poblet, AJPA, October 2016

Australia remains one of the last liberal democracies to retain a property franchise at the local government level. This particular feature is both the result of historical particularities and contemporary political arrangements. This article analyses the property franchise in the City of Melbourne, the capital of the Australian State of Victoria, based on democratic theory and an empirical study. It illustrates the tensions between the democratic principles of representation and political equality in defining structures for representation at the local government level. The authors suggest that a more nuanced interpretation of representation can be adopted at a local level based on territorial residency rather than legal citizenship. Despite this, based on analysis of both electoral and non-electoral mechanisms, the property franchises are found to be anachronistic and indefensible from a democratic perspective and unrelated to the status of capital city. The article concludes that, at a local level, deliberative democracy holds the promise to better represent various interests, including property interests.

Access full text at the AJPA website.


Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status

By Eric Fripp, Hart Publishing, 2016

International refugee law anticipates state conduct in relation to nationality, statelessness, and protection. Refugee status under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and regional and domestic instruments referring to it can be fully understood only against the background of international laws regarding nationality, statelessness, and the consequences of national status or the lack of it. In this significant addition to the literature a leading practitioner in these fields examines, in the light of international law, key issues regarding refugee status including identification of 'the country of his nationality', concepts of 'effective nationality', and the inclusion within 'persecution' of a range of acts or omissions focused on nationality.

See details at Hart Publishing website.



Piecing together Europe’s Citizenship. Searching for Cinderella

By Tony Venables, Nomos, 2016

Piecing together Europe's citizenship is the work of a civil society activist and European affairs expert rather than an academic. His life-long experience with the EU is a unique feature of this book. The main thesis that European citizenship is too scattered to allow it to be understood let alone developed is an original contribution which should encourage further research. It is argued that only a shared sense of citizenship will provide a basis for the EU to overcome the different crises it faces. This therefore relates European citizenship to the debate on the future of the EU, which is a highly topical theme. The book should therefore appeal to readers interested in both citizenship and European politics more generally - civil society activists, researchers and policy makers, particularly those concerned with issues of EU reform to make the institutions more open and democratic and create a European public sphere. It is useful for students, particularly of law, political science and European studies.

Details at Nomos website.


The Citizenship Gap in European Societies: Conceptualizing, Measuring and Comparing ‘Migration Neutrality’ across the EU

By Ettore Recchi, International Migration, October 2016

Equality in life-chances of nationals and immigrants is a sensitive issue on which there is more debate than systematic evidence. To evaluate this condition across European societies, the concept of integration as “migration neutrality” is introduced. “Migration neutrality” is defined as the irrelevance of national citizenship as a predictor of key social attainments. Odds ratios are used to measure the relative risk of non-national as compared with national citizens in the attainment of relevant resources. While this indicator cannot control for compositional differences in the populations at stake, it represents a straightforward benchmark that can be used in different domains to describe and compare foreign citizens’ position relative to nationals. In this article, we calculate it across EU member states through Eurostat data. In particular, the focus is on migration neutrality in the risk of social exclusion. Country variations are found to be hardly amenable to established classifications of integration types. Moreover, the relationship between “migration neutrality” levels and pro-immigrant policies (as measured by the Mipex index) is found to be weak, suggesting that these policies do not consistently target the reduction of the gap between nationals and non nationals.

Read full text at the journal’s website.