Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies

 

On Citizenship, States, and Markets

 

by Ayelet Shachar and Ran Hirschl, Journal of Political Philosophy (2014), doi: 10.1111/jopp.12034

 

 

 

 

 

Traditions of Nationhood or Political Conjuncture? Debating Citizenship in Canada and Germany

 

by Elke Winter, Comparative Migration Studies, 2 (1) 29-56 (2014)

If migration studies in the 1990s were marked by the predominance of the “national models” approach, the early 2000s have seen an increasing rebuttal to this approach. This paper contributes to the debate by examining the politics of citizenship in Germany and Canada, two countries that are usually located at opposing poles of the “national models of immigration and citizen-ship continuum”. The paper combines inductive process tracing and discourse analysis to examine some of the most controversial citizenship legislation in both countries: Optionspflicht [the duty to choose] in Germany and the “first generation limitation” in Canada. overall, the analysis presented agrees with recent critiques of the national models approach in migration studies. However, and in contrast to the latter, it maintains that national trajectories – rather than models – provide a cognitive matrix into which policy changes and their justifications need to be inserted.

Read the full text here.

 

 

Citizens' Rights and the Right to Be a Citizen

 

by Ernst Hirsch Ballin

It is increasingly common for political rights to be extended to citizens who are permanently resident outside their state of citizenship. In a small minority of cases (13 countries as of October 2013) emigrants are not only able to vote but also able to vote for their own representation. Such systems of ‘special representation’ introduce members of national legislatures who are responsible for emigrants across large parts of the world. These electoral systems highlight the problematic characterisation of states as territorial entities with an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’, since the state would then be turning itself ‘inside-out’ by performing domestic functions on foreign territory without the intervention of foreign states. Drawing on data from a recent survey of electoral systems to highlight common patterns between the 13 countries in which special representation is currently operated, the paper highlights the role of inter-national migrants as emigrants, rather than as immigrants. It concludes that such developments cannot be explained territorially without serious problems for states that are manifestly not occurring. Special representation can only be understood as a re-emphasis of the significance of popular sovereignty. Democracy re-founds the legitimacy of the state in ‘the people’ but its extra-territorial performance results in a disarticulation between nation and state which states must creatively contain.

See more at the site of the publisher

 

Inside out? Directly elected ‘special representation’ of emigrants in national legislatures and the role of popular sovereignty

by Michael CollyerPolitical Geography, xxx (2014), 1-10

It is increasingly common for political rights to be extended to citizens who are permanently resident outside their state of citizenship. In a small minority of cases (13 countries as of October 2013) emigrants are not only able to vote but also able to vote for their own representation. Such systems of ‘special representation’ introduce members of national legislatures who are responsible for emigrants across large parts of the world. These electoral systems highlight the problematic characterisation of states as territorial entities with an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’, since the state would then be turning itself ‘inside-out’ by performing domestic functions on foreign territory without the intervention of foreign states. Drawing on data from a recent survey of electoral systems to highlight common patterns between the 13 countries in which special representation is currently operated, the paper highlights the role of inter-national migrants as emigrants, rather than as immigrants. It concludes that such developments cannot be explained territorially without serious problems for states that are manifestly not occurring. Special representation can only be understood as a re-emphasis of the significance of popular sovereignty. Democracy re-founds the legitimacy of the state in ‘the people’ but its extra-territorial performance results in a disarticulation between nation and state which states must creatively contain.

 

The Economic Case for a Clear, Quick Pathway to Citizenship: Evidence from Europe and North America

A report of the Center for American Progress,

By Pieter Bevelander and Don J. DeVoretz

A number of recent studies have illustrated that opening a door for undocumented immigrants to earn legal status and, ultimately, citizenship would significantly enhance the U.S. economy. This report goes further, examining not just the U.S. case but also the economic impact of allowing immigrants to gain full citizenship in other countries in North America and Europe. The evidence is clear: A pathway to citizenship free of obstacles and undue delays helps immigrants integrate into the labor market and increase their earnings. These increased earnings and the corresponding added tax revenue would help grow the economy, which yields benefits for native-born citizens too.

But generally understanding that pro-citizenship policies have positively affected a range of economies is only the first part of the inquiry. The next step is evaluating how the United States can maximize the potential economic gains from such policies. After demonstrating that granting citizenship carries positive economic impacts for an array of countries, this report delves deeper to explore how to maximize the gains from citizenship.

The literature on new and old immigrant-destination countries shows that the clearer the pathway to citizenship, the greater the gains, and that the optimal waiting period for citizenship is roughly five years. Placing significant restrictions and lengthy delays on immigrants’ ability to become citizens diminishes the size of their ultimate economic premium for two reasons. The number of years that an immigrant can work for higher wages as a naturalized citizen declines, and immigrants have fewer incentives to invest in training and new skills as they age. Also, the best and the brightest immigrants may leave for their home countries or other, more welcoming countries.

But the goal is not simply to maximize individual naturalized citizens’ contributions. It is also to encourage the greatest number of people to naturalize so that the country can reap the biggest economic benefit possible. After all, the economic gains will have little overall impact on a country’s economy if few people are able to actually achieve citizenship.

If maximizing the economic benefits of immigration reform is a priority for U.S. policymakers, it follows that they should adopt a clear, achievable, and relatively short pathway to citizenship that encourages the most eligible individuals to naturalize. However, legislation presently before Congress, such as the Senate-passed immigration reform bill, proposes a far-longer pathway to citizenship—a minimum of 13 years—than is optimal. This pathway also comes with $2,000 in fines and numerous application fees, all of which could serve to reduce the economic premium from citizenship and the number of people who will naturalize.

Read the full report (pdf) here