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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Born in the Americas. The Promise and Practice of Nationality Laws in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia

By Open Society Foundations, 2017

Like most countries in the Americas, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia practice jus soli citizenship, in which nationality is generally granted to those born in the country’s territory. In theory, this is the simplest and most straightforward form of citizenship, and the most likely to prevent statelessness. But in practice, many people in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia struggle to obtain proof of citizenship and fully enjoy their citizenship rights, and some are left stateless. Born in the Americas looks closely at the strengths and weaknesses of the three countries’ citizenship regimes, finding a significant gap between the promise of jus soli citizenship and its implementation on the ground. Further, the report finds that this disparity most often affects indigenous peoples, members of ethnic minority groups, migrants, internally displaced persons, and children. Based on a comprehensive review and analysis of the history, laws, and practices of the three countries, Born in the Americas analyses case law, and offers detailed recommendations to improve current practices. The report argues that Brazil, Chile, and Colombia―and other countries in the region―must do more to ensure that the right to citizenship can be realized in practice for all people born in the Americas.

Read full report here.


Migration and Citizenship, Newsletter of the American Political Science Association’s Organized Section on Migration and Citizenship

By Kristy A. Belton and Mark Helbling (eds.), APSA, Winter 2016/17

Winter issue of our APSA Migration and Citizenship Section’s Newsletter, while not ex- plicitly constructed to address the interplay between citizenship and migration studies, does so in several ways. The Symposium reveals the ways in which human movement impacts notions of belonging and vice-versa within the Asian context; the Policy Brief examines the Indian diaspora and the subsequent creation of Indian overseas citizen- ship; and the Research Institute Profile focuses on OBMICA, an organization that ex- pressly works at the interstices of belonging and migration, especially as pertains to statelessness in the Caribbean.

Read full text here.


Making the absent present. Political parties and emigrant issues in country of origin parliaments

By Eva Østergaard-Nielsen and Irina Ciornei, Party Politics, March 2017

A growing number of countries have granted their emigrant citizens the right to vote in homeland elections from afar. Yet, there is little understanding of the extent to which emigration issues are visible in the subsequent legislative processes of policymaking and representation. Based on an original data set of parliamentary activities in Spain, Italy, France and Romania, this article analyses why political parties pay attention to emigrants. To that end, we propose a conceptual framework which draws on both theories of issue salience and substantive representation. Bridging these two frameworks allows us bring in both parties (salience) and constituencies (representation) in the analysis of the linkage between electorates and parliaments at a transnational level. We test a series of hypotheses and find that parties are more likely to focus on emigration issues the stronger their electoral incentives and in the context of electoral systems allowing the emigrants to elect special emigrant representatives.

Read at the journal’s website.


An unexpected reform in the maelstrom of the crisis: Greek nationality in the times of the memoranda (2010–2015)

By Dimitris Christopoulos, Citizenship Studies, March 2017

The article discusses the path of an important reform of the Greek Citizenship Code, starting from the initial introduction of the Citizenship Law in 2010, the public debate and reactions that followed leading to its partial annulation as unconstitutional in 2012, and finally, the developments until its restoration with a new law in 2016. This initiative introducing radical reforms for the Greek context took place in the midst of the public debt crisis, and thus has not been discussed accordingly. Until then, the issue of Greek nationality represented a non-issue in the political agenda of the country, since the issue of citizenship was considered ‘nationally sensitive’. The paper examines how such a reform is pushed forward during extremely difficult conditions, an unprecedented economic and political crisis, coupled by the largest refugee wave in the recent history of the country, having still an uncertain future/outcome.

Read at the journal’s website.


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.