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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


Access to Citizenship and the Role of Origin Countries

By Maarten Peter Vink , Tijana Prokic-Breuer, & Jaap Dronkers (†), in Migrant Integration Between Homeland and Host Society, Springer, May 2017

For foreign-born residents and their children, attaining citizenship in the host country confers membership, rights and participation opportunities, and encourages a sense of belonging (Bloemraad 2006). From a destination country perspective, naturalisation is increasingly seen as an important part of the process of integrating immigrants. In order to optimise the use of what is sometimes termed the ‘citizenship premium’, actors in destination countries often advocate public policies that are aimed at increasing naturalisation rates among immigrants (OECD 2011; Sumption and Flamm 2012). The acquisition of citizenship is associated with better employment probability, higher earnings and higher occupational positions (Liebig and Von Haaren 2011). Politically, in a democratic context, citizenship normally qualifies immigrants to take an active part in the electoral politics of the destination country (Pikkov 2011; De Rooij 2012).

Details at the publisher’s website. 


The Determinants of Cross-National Variation in Migrants’ Access to Rights

By Ralph Ittonen Hosoki, Sociological Inquiry, May 2017

States vary in the degree to which rights enjoyed by the native citizenry are conferred upon foreign nationals, and rarely do non-nationals fully enjoy comparable rights unless they naturalize. Extant studies on cross-national variations in access to citizenship are largely qualitative and limited to Western liberal democracies, making generalizable claims difficult, and there is limited theorization on the impact of exogenous global influences on citizenship and nationality laws. This cross-national study utilizes Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression to adjudicate between world cultural and domestic economic, political, and demographic explanations for migrants’ access to rights, using minimum residency length requirement for naturalization as a proxy measure. Results show that international non-governmental organization (INGO) membership is the strongest predictor of cross-national variance in minimum residency length requirements, suggesting that the diffusion of world cultural human rights scripts through cultural linkages with INGOs influences a state's willingness to confer the ultimate means to legal membership and rights.

Read at the journal’s website.


The quintessentially democratic act? Democracy, political community and citizenship in and after the UK’s EU referendum of June 2016


By Jo Shaw, Journal of European Integration, May 2017

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, by a rather small majority. Although much about the future relations between the EU and the UK remains uncertain, it is already possible to explore in more detail the issues of democracy, political community and citizenship which were thrown up by this referendum result. The article explores the reconstruction of the vote as the ‘will of the people’, in the light of the principle of demoi-cracy which suggests a more nuanced approach to the issue of democratic consent in complex multi-level polities such as the UK and the EU. Specific questions are raised about the narrowness of the referendum franchise, and about the consequences that flow from the territorially differentiated result of the referendum, with Scotland in particular voting strongly ‘to remain’.

Read at the journal’s website (for queries: jo.shaw@ed.ac.uk)



Nationhood and Scandinavian naturalization politics: varieties of the civic turn

By Kristian Kriegbaum Jensen, Christian Fernández & Grete Brochmann, Citizenship Studies, May 2017

The neighboring countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway represent three very similar societies that differ markedly with respect to naturalization policy. While the general trend of a civic turn has brought about some of Europe’s strictest residence and citizenship requirements in Denmark, it has left the liberal Swedish policy largely untouched and the Norwegian somewhere in between the other two. How might such divergence in otherwise very similar societies be explained? This article investigates the role different conceptions of nationhood have played. It is argued that different conceptions of nationhood have mattered, but that the national differences have less to do with the normative content of nationhood than with how politicians tend to conceive of the integration process that newcomers must commit to in order to develop a strong sense of national belonging.

Read at the journal’s website.



The transformation of citizenship

By Jürgen Mackert and Bryan S. Turner (eds.), Routledge, 2017

At the beginning of the twenty-first century the consequences of fundamental global economic, political, social and cultural transformations that have been underway for decades challenge modern citizenship. There can be no doubt that modern citizenship can no longer operate as it did in the second half of the twentieth century. Neither the politico-economic foundation nor the idea of political participation nor formerly clear-cut boundaries or the Western idea of peaceful deliberation about citizens’ rights can be taken for granted any longer. All over the world the rights of citizens have come under enormous pressure. This is true in the face of an extreme asymmetry of power between organised economic interests and citizens that try to defend once achieved standards of living; it is also true given new political centres of decision-making that are beyond the control of citizens; it is true for newly emerging boundaries that are mobilised in order to re-define arrangements of inclusion and exclusion; finally, it is true for growing resistance among the citizenries and violent upheavals against both autocratic and declining democratic regimes such as France and Great Britain. Against this background The Transformation of Citizenship addresses the basic question of how we can make sense of citizenship in the twenty-first century.

These volumes make a strong plea for a reorientation of the sociology of citizenship and address serious threats of an ongoing erosion of citizenship rights. Arguing from different scientific perspectives, rather than offering new conceptions of citizenship as supposedly more adequate models of rights, membership and belonging, they deal with both the ways citizenship is transformed and the ways it operates in the face of fundamentally transformed conditions.

Details at the publisher’s website.