Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Migrants into Members: Social Rights, Civic Requirements, and Citizenship in Western Europe


by Gregory Baldi & Sara Wallace Goodman, Western European Politics (22 May 2015)

How do the states in Western Europe turn outsiders into insiders? This article examines that question by introducing a new qualitative framework that we term national membership conditionality structures (MCS). This framework includes not only status acquisition rules, such as those governing naturalisation and settlement, but also, crucially, civic integration requirements and social benefit eligibility standards. The article illustrates how linkages across these policy sectors shape different membership-making processes for third-country nationals by examining the MCS variation in Great Britain and Germany, two countries that both experienced significant migration inflows beginning in the first post-war decades. As a contrast to these two ‘mature’ MCS cases, a study of Spain is also included as a ‘nascent’ case, whose recent experience with large-scale immigration provides an opportunity to consider an MCS under active construction. The article concludes that while EU-level policies and institutions have extended their reach to cover ever more sectors, the components of national MCS remain largely outside supranational purview. As such, membership remains a core imperative of the contemporary nation-state.

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Citizenship, integration and the quest for social cohesion: nationality reform in the Scandinavian countries


by Arnfinn H Midtbøen, Comparative Migration Studies (21 May 2015)by Arnfinn H Midtbøen, Comparative Migration Studies (21 May 2015)

After having coordinated their nationality laws since the late 19th century, the Scandinavian countries have moved in distinctly different directions in this field since the turn of the millennium. Today Sweden has one of the most liberal citizenship policies in Europe, while Denmark has one of the most restrictive. Norway occupies an intermediate position between its Scandinavian neighbours. In this article, I compare the differences in Scandinavian nationality law and the political processes that led to these changes. The highly divergent development of nationality law in the Scandinavian region questions the widespread idea that a general convergence towards liberalization of European nationality law is taking place. Although static concepts of nationhood cannot account for the recent changes in Scandinavian nationality law, ideas about national identity and social cohesion are still highly influential in determining the content of nationality law.

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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