Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Ancestry into Opportunity: How Global Inequality Drives Demand for Long-distance European Union Citizenship


By Yossi Harpaz, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 15 May 2015

This paper investigates the relationship between global inequality and dual citizenship by analysing citizenship acquisition from abroad in the European Union (EU). Most EU countries now offer facilitated naturalisation to descendants of emigrants and co-ethnics abroad, which requires neither residence nor renunciation of former citizenship. Since the 1990s, over 3.5 million people have used this opening to obtain dual citizenship from a European country to which they often have little if any connection. I analyse this phenomenon using a data-set that I constructed from previously unanalysed administrative statistics. The data were used to test an original theory that explains patterns of demand for dual citizenship in the context of a global hierarchy of citizenship worth. The analysis demonstrated that demand was much higher in Latin America and Eastern Europe than in North America and Western Europe. Non-Western applicants were drawn to the practical benefits of EU citizenship, and their level of demand varied in response to economic conditions like unemployment. In contrast, Western applicants displayed lower demand for citizenship and were unresponsive to economic incentives. The paper contributes to the literature by demonstrating the relationship between citizenship and global stratification as well as highlighting a widespread instrumental approach to dual citizenship.

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Political parties and citizenship legislation change in EU28 countries, 1992–2013


By Djordje Sredanovic, International Political Science Review May 11, 2015

I analyze the changes to naturalization and jus soli legislation in EU28 states between 1992 and 2013, examining the links with the party composition of the cabinet in power. The direction, inclusive or restrictive, of the 104 changes to legislation analyzed, shows a variable but intelligible link to the left–right position and EU Parliament group affiliation of government parties. Distinguishing between EU15 states and post-1995 EU member states results in clearer links between politics and citizenship legislation change in the EU15, and also in less clear links in the post-1995 EU. Finally, a number of different analytical approaches all show limited evidence of the role of far-right xenophobic parties in influencing the direction of the legislation changes, suggesting that the origin of restrictive citizenship legislation could be found in the mainstream right rather than in the far right.

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Increasing Validity by Recombining Existing Indices: MIPEX as a Measure of Citizenship Models

By Didier Ruedin, Social Science Quarterly (published online in April 2015)

Researchers often reuse existing data and indices even in cases where theory demands different measures. Here, I argue that with little additional effort, it is possible to increase the validity of research by recombining individual indicators of existing indices.This approach is demonstrated by using data from the widely used Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), recombining some of the 148 indicators to approximate Koopmans et al.'s (2005) two-dimensional conception of citizenship models.The recombined MIPEX data match the desired conception of citizenship models and can be applied to all countries covered in the MIPEX. For the first time theoretically predicted ethnic-pluralistic citizenship models (segregationism) are observed.The approach presented can be applied to different data and research questions, leading to research making use of more appropriate data that match specific research rather than relying on what is readily available—thus increasing validity. Access the article online


Immigrant enfranchisement in Latin America: From strongmen to universal citizenship

By Cristina Escobar, in Democratization (published online 14 April 2015)

In order to explain non-citizen enfranchisement in Latin America, this article takes into account three dimensions: domestic (citizenship tradition, immigration levels, internal politics), global (international and bilateral agreements, human rights discourse) and regional (common markets, diffusion, geopolitics). The article identifies two main modalities: from the early twentieth century to the 1980s, when democracy was not a necessary condition and when national factors prevailed. Starting in the 1990s, democratization in Latin America has brought a new wave of non-citizen enfranchisement, this time with more influence of global and regional factors and, in various cases, in connection with external voting rights.

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Expatriates as voters? The new dynamics of external voting in Sub-Saharan Africa


By Christoff Hartmann, in Democratization, published online 7 April 2015

Expatriate voting has gained in importance over the last decade in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article gives an empirical overview of existing regulations in all independent states of the continent and examines some explanatory approaches in the African context. One approach claims that expatriate enfranchisement is a functional response to the increasing importance of migrants and their remittances. A second explanation refers to the role of domestic political structures and regime types. A third cluster of explanatory factors links external voting to the interests of political parties. Both in the broader comparative analysis and by looking more specifically at the cases of Ghana, South Africa, Cape Verde and Nigeria, all three approaches specifically contribute to understanding variation of external voting rights in Sub-Saharan Africa.