Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


The Europeanisation of Citizenship Governance in South-East Europe

By Jelena Dzankic, Simonida Kacarska, Natasa Pantic (eds), Routledge, 2016

This book looks at how Europeanisation affects the link between citizenship and governance in and across the new states of South East Europe. Contributors unpack the intimate relationship between the European Union, national governments, and citizens through a tripartite model that captures the uneven and diversified effects of Europeanisation on the governance of citizenship-related policy areas. Reflecting on the meaning of governance in different contexts, this book invites the readers to reconsider the terms and concepts that are commonly used for studying the consolidation of new states. By doing so, it directs attention to the transformative power of European integration not only on modes of governance but also on practices and experiences of citizenship.

Individual chapters are ‘paired’ to examine three policy areas that are to a different degree affected by the requirements of European Union accession. Combining analysis of policy frameworks with assessment of their impact, the contributors highlight that the impact of Europeanisation can be located on a continuum stretching from ‘strongest’ in matters regarding justice and home affairs, to ‘moderate’ in general issues of social policy, to ‘weakest’ in transforming citizenship through education policies.

Access on publisher's website.


Democracies and the Power to Revoke Citizenship

By Patti Tamara Lenard, Ethics and International Affairs, March 2016

Citizenship status is meant to be secure, that is, inviolable. Recently, however, several democratic states have adopted or are considering adopting laws that allow them the power to revoke citizenship. This claimed right forces us to consider whether citizenship can be treated as a “conditional” status, in particular whether it can be treated as conditional on the right sort of behavior. Those who defend such a view argue that citizenship is a privilege rather than a right, and thus in principle is revocable. Participating in a foreign state’s military, treason, spying, or committing acts that otherwise threaten the national security of one’s state may all warrant revocation. This article assesses the justifications given for the claimed power to revoke citizenship in democratic states and concludes that, ultimately, such a power is incompatible with democracy. 

Read the article here.


Transnational Citizenship and Access to Electoral Rights: Defining the Demos in European States

By Iseult Honohan and Derek Hutcheson, Routledge, 2016

Who should have the right to vote – and who does? This chapter focuses on these two central questions, and combines discussion of the normative principles of the demos with a comprehensive mapping of the electoral rights in national elections of citizens and resident non-citizens in all 28 states of the European Union. We consider five possible constructions of the demos, examine the extent to which these principles are followed or observable in practice, and examine the correlation between the inner and outer boundaries implied by the models and the empirical reality of voting rules in Europe. When we compare these normative models with the empirical reality of national electoral regimes, the main distinctions in constructing the European demos revolve around citizenship and residence. From a normative perspective of democracy and justice, citizenship and residence alone are not adequate criteria for constituting the decision-making basis of a country’s electorate, but in practice it is generally these criteria that determine inclusion or exclusion of potential voters, rather than affectedness, subjection or contribution; even the stakeholder model is reflected to only a limited extent in the definition of the demos. Chapter in The Act of Voting: Identities, Institutions and Locale, ed. by Johan A. Elkink and David M. Farrell, Routledge, 2016.

Access on publisher’s website.


European Citizenship at the Crossroads. The Role of the European Union on Loss and Acquisition of Nationality

By Sergio Carrera and Gerard-René de Groot, Wolf Legal Publishers, 2016

This book examines the changing role played by the European Union and international standards on loss and acquisition of nationality. It provides a comparative analysis of EU Member States regulations, administrative practices, court rulings and statistical data on questions related to loss of nationality and European citizenship. It assesses the multifaceted repercussions of the supranational venues of judicial and legal accountability over states autonomy and competences at times of deciding who is and who is not a citizen. The following questions are examined: to what the extent do EU Member States still hold the exclusive competence over domestic decisions in nationality matters? How do international and European legal principles and standards, as well as case-law by European courts progressively affect their margin of manoeuvre at times of deciding who is and who is not a ‘citizen’? What are the repercussions of their obligations in safeguarding citizenship of the Union?

Link to publisher’s website.


Foreign Fighters and the Deprivation of Nationality: National Practices and International Law Implications


By Laura van Waas, Springer, February 2016

While most people experience their nationality as a fixed and integral feature of their identity, it is not necessarily a permanent or immoveable characteristic. Indeed, most States’ nationality laws feature a set of rules—alongside those which elaborate the conditions for acquisition of nationality—which stipulate the grounds upon which a national can lose or be deprived of that nationality. With concern rising about international terrorism and now the phenomenon of foreign fighters, governments have been rediscovering nationality policy as a potential instrument in the protection of their national security interests. This chapter highlights a range of States’ perspectives on the deprivation of nationality and discusses recent developments in national-level debate and/or policy around the deprivation of nationality from foreign fighters. It then goes on to explore the international law implications of an expanded use of such deprivation powers. In particular, the chapter looks at the international law prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of nationality and what this requires of States that would seek to deprive a person of nationality in response to their engagement in an armed conflict in a third country. It discusses how international legal standards relating to the prevention of Statelessness restrict States’ powers of deprivation of nationality and asks what the significance is of such restrictions for the enjoyment of nationality by dual nationals. Finally, the chapter also assesses to what extent different approaches to the deprivation of nationality from foreign fighters pose a challenge from the perspective of the international law principle of non-discrimination.

Read on Springer website.