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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


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.


Citizenship for Sale: Neomedieval, not Just Neoliberal?

By Ana Tanasoca, European Journal of Sociology, April 2016

Opponents of commodification say that some things should not be for sale. Is citizenship one of them? Citizenship-by-investment schemes of naturalization allow investors virtually to “buy” citizenship. Revisiting objections to the older practice of selling another civic status—noble status—underscores many reasons why this trade may be regarded as problematic. The practice of selling citizenship is not only similar to that of selling honours but might also be thought wrong in analogous ways.

Read full text at EJS website.



Cutting genuine links: a normative analysis of citizenship deprivation

By Rainer Bauböck and Vesco Paskalev, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, 2015

Most critical analyses assess citizenship deprivation policies against international human rights and domestic rule of law standards, such as prevention of statelessness, non-arbitrariness with regard to justifications and judicial remedies, or non-discrimination between different categories of citizens. This paper considers citizenship deprivation policies instead from a political theory perspective--how deprivation policies reflect specific conceptions of political community. We distinguish four normative conceptions of the grounds of membership in a political community that apply to decisions on acquisition and loss of citizenship status: a 'State discretion' view, an 'individual choice' view, an 'ascriptive community' view, and a 'genuine link' view. We argue that most citizenship laws combine these four normative views, but that from a democratic perspective the 'genuine link' view is most preferable. The paper subsequently examines five general grounds for citizenship withdrawal--threats to public security, non-compliance with citizenship duties, flawed acquisition, derivative loss, and loss of genuine links--and considers how the four normative views apply to withdrawal provision motivated by these concerns. The final Part examines whether European Union (EU) citizenship provides additional reasons for protection against Member States' powers of citizenship deprivation. We suggest that, in addition to fundamental rights protection through EU law and protection of free movement rights, three further arguments could be invoked: toleration of dual citizenship in a political union, prevention of unequal conditions for loss among EU citizens, and the salience of genuine links to the EU itself rather than merely to one of its Member States.

Access full text on CADMUS.


The position and agency of the ‘irregularized’: Romani migrants as European semi-citizens

By Julija Sardelic, Politics, September 2016

This article discusses the position and agency of Romani migrants. It argues that different states often irregularize the status of Romani migrants even in cases where it should be regularized due to their de jure citizenship. This irregularization is possible because of their position as semi-citizens in their ‘states of origin’. Yet, Romani migrants are not mere passive observers of these practices, but react to their irregularized migrant statuses. In doing so, they redefine their national and European citizenships. This article centres around two case studies to analyse the position and agency of Romani migrants The first is Roma with European Union (EU) citizenship and the second is post-Yugoslav Roma without EU citizenship.

Read full text at the journal’s website.


Politische Rechte von Auslandbürgerinnen und Auslandbürgern in verschiedenen Staaten Europas [Political Rights of Expatriates in Different European States]

By Swiss Federal Council, August 2016

This report, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Council, examines and compares the political rights of expatriates in different European states. Starting from an analysis of the scope and nature of such rights, the report explores procedures for external voting. The report concludes that the political rights of the Swiss abroad are not restrictive.

Read full text at the Swiss Parliament website (in German).