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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Democratic Deficits in Europe: The Overlooked Exclusiveness of Nation-States and the Positive Role of the European Union

By Joachim Blatter, Samuel D. Schmid, Andrea C. Blättler, JCMS, October 2016

With the help of the Immigrant Inclusion Index (IMIX), a quantitative tool for measuring the electoral inclusion of immigrants, we demonstrate that European democracies are much more exclusive than they should be. All normative theories of democracy share the conviction that it is imperative that democracies include long-term immigrant residents into the demos – either by granting citizenship or by introducing alien voting rights. But even the 20 most established and stable democracies within the EU are far from fully realizing the ideal of ‘universal suffrage’. This is true independently of whether we count in- and excluded people in numerical terms, or whether we evaluate the relevant laws and regulations. Therefore, we diagnose a substantial democratic deficit on the level of European nation-states. By requiring its member states to enfranchise non-national EU citizens on the local level, the EU, for once, plays a positive role in reducing one of the most fundamental democratic deficits in times of migration.

Read full text at JCMS website.


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.