Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


The impacts of extra-territorial voting: Swings, interregnums and feedback effects in New Zealand elections from 1914 to 2011


By Alan Gamlen, Political Geography, Vol. 44 (Jan. 2015). 

How are elections affected by the votes of people living abroad? The majority of states now allow extra-territorial voting in some form, but the research literature on this topic remains underdeveloped. Moreover, even though extra-territorial voting raises issues about the relationship between territory and political obligation that are relevant to political geographers, political geography has been under-represented in discussions on the topic. Against this background, this research examines a century of overseas voting impacts in New Zealand, a country with an unusually long recorded history of such activity. The study identifies three types of extra-territorial voting impact over the period 1914-2011, referred to as swings, interregnums and feedback effects.

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Nationality Law in the Western Hemisphere


A Study on Grounds for Acquisition and Loss of Citizenship in the Americas and the Caribbean, by Olivier W. Vonk, Brill 2014

In Nationality Law in the Western Hemisphere, Olivier Vonk provides the first comprehensive overview in English of the grounds for acquisition and loss of citizenship in the thirty-five independent countries in the Americas and the Caribbean. Employing a typology developed by the European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship, he convincingly shows that different nationality laws can be compared by using a systematic analytical grid. The individual country chapters additionally pay due regard to issues such as dual citizenship and statelessness, and include thorough historical observations as well as extensive bibliographical references for each state. Nationality Law in the Western Hemisphere allows academics, practitioners, governments and international organizations to assess nationality legislation beyond a purely national context.


Immigration and Membership Politics in Western Europe


By Sara Wallace Goodman, Cambridge University Press, Oct. 2014

Why are traditional nation-states newly defining membership and belonging? In the twenty-first century, several Western European states have attached obligatory civic integration requirements as conditions for citizenship and residence, which include language proficiency, country knowledge and value commitments for immigrants. This book examines this membership policy adoption and adaptation through both medium-N analysis and three paired comparisons to argue that while there is convergence in instruments, there is also significant divergence in policy purpose, design and outcomes. To explain this variation, this book focuses on the continuing, dynamic interaction of institutional path dependency and party politics. Through paired comparisons of Austria and Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands and France, this book illustrates how variations in these factors - as well as a variety of causal processes - produce divergent civic integration policy strategies that, ultimately, preserve and anchor national understandings of membership.

A Comparative Analysis of Nationality Laws in the MENA Region


By Laura Van Waas, Tilburg Law School Working Papers series, Sept 2014


This research paper offers a comparative analysis of current nationality laws in the Middle East and North Africa, paying particular attention to the identification of elements or gaps that may contribute to the creation, perpetuation or prolongation of statelessness. It is accompanied by an annex in which the comparative analysis of some of the central rules relating to the acquisition and loss of nationality are set out in the form of analytical tables. It looks at how the broad concepts of connectedness, belonging and loyalty have been transposed into individual provisions, in particular in regulating acquisition of nationality (at birth and later, through naturalisation) and in stipulating the conditions for the change or withdrawal of nationality. After dealing with these main components, the report also comments on the specific issue of discrimination in nationality policy in the region as well as on procedural features of MENA’s nationality laws. The analysis of this report closes with a section that comments on some of the most significant challenges that have been identified in terms of the implementation of the MENA region’s nationality laws. Finally, a conclusion summarises the main findings of the report and offers some recommendations with regard to how the nationality law regimes in the MENA could be strengthened in order to better respond to the challenge of statelessness.



An Unexpected Pioneer in Asia: The Enfranchisement of Foreign Residents in South Korea


By Hannes Mosler and Luicy Pedroza, Ethnopolitics (September 2014)

Since 2005 South Korea is the pioneer state in Asia to extend voting rights at the local and regional levels to foreign residents. The few explanations of this unlikely reform remain partial and contradictory. With this research, we contribute to a fuller understanding of the political process that led to this electoral reform. We take a middle-range perspective that emphasises the role of the construction of these rights and negotiation about them between political groups along a decision-making process. We find that some characteristics of the Korean enfranchisement of non-citizens render it indeed a special case, but that it also confirms the explanatory power of the factors proposed by the more specific comparative literature dealing with this phenomenon.