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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


‘Brexit’: Consequences for Citizenship of the Union and Residence Rights

By Guayasén Marrero González, Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, November 2016

On 23 June 2016, the British people decided to leave the European Union (EU). Although the withdrawal process has not yet started, it is not surprising that some concerns have emerged in relation to the situation of British citizens residing outside the United Kingdom (but within the EU) who do not possess the nationality of another EU Member State, and citizens of the Union residing in the United Kingdom. From ‘the leave date’, British citizens will no longer possess the status of citizens of the Union, and will subsequently become third-country nationals for EU law purposes. Conversely, the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the EU territory and EU citizens can no longer exercise the rights and freedoms conferred to them within the EU. In this scenario, the right to reside in the EU for British citizens and in the United Kingdom for citizens of the Union could become legally uncertain. This contribution departs from the EU law perspective and takes a human rights approach to dealing with the issue of residence rights. It will be argued that residence rights, in an EU context, can be retained by operation of the provisions of the ECHR.

Access the article at the MJ website.


Beyond convergence: unveiling variations of external franchise in Latin America and the Caribbean from 1950 to 2015

By Pau Palop-García and Luicy Pedroza, JEMS, September 2016

A growing literature deals with the models that states have developed to reach out to their emigrant communities. The literature covers a wide range of initiatives, most notably electoral policies. In this line of research, we present a comparative view of the citizenship policies of Latin American and Caribbean states using a data set that includes information (yearly observations from 1950 to 2015) of the external franchise policies of 22 countries. First, this paper describes the scope of inclusion of non-resident citizens in terms of electoral rights. Second, we study the evolution over time of the external franchise policies of the countries under study. Despite cultural, historical and obvious geographic commonalities across countries, the analyses reveal that the convergence trend in the external franchise policies developed by Latin American and Caribbean countries is limited to a most general level. Below that level many variations in terms of specific electoral rights, types and venues of representation of emigrants are observable. These variations range from exclusion of non-resident citizens in terms of electoral rights, to full inclusion, when emigrants have active and passive electoral rights in all the national elections held in the states of origin (presidential and/or legislative).

Read full text at JEMS website.


Can Withdrawing Citizenship Be Justified?

By Christian Barry and Luara Ferracioli, Political Studies, December 2016

Denationalisation – withdrawing citizenship from a person – is a practice with a long historic pedigree that continues to affect the lives of many people today. Are there conditions under which denationalisation is morally justified? If so, what are they? And can legal and political norms that authorise states to engage in citizenship withdrawal be justified? This article provides answers to these questions.

Access on the journal’s website.





Democratic Deficits in Europe: The Overlooked Exclusiveness of Nation-States and the Positive Role of the European Union

By Joachim Blatter, Samuel D. Schmid, Andrea C. Blättler, JCMS, October 2016

With the help of the Immigrant Inclusion Index (IMIX), a quantitative tool for measuring the electoral inclusion of immigrants, we demonstrate that European democracies are much more exclusive than they should be. All normative theories of democracy share the conviction that it is imperative that democracies include long-term immigrant residents into the demos – either by granting citizenship or by introducing alien voting rights. But even the 20 most established and stable democracies within the EU are far from fully realizing the ideal of ‘universal suffrage’. This is true independently of whether we count in- and excluded people in numerical terms, or whether we evaluate the relevant laws and regulations. Therefore, we diagnose a substantial democratic deficit on the level of European nation-states. By requiring its member states to enfranchise non-national EU citizens on the local level, the EU, for once, plays a positive role in reducing one of the most fundamental democratic deficits in times of migration.

Read full text at JCMS website.


A multilevel puzzle: Migrants’ voting rights in national and local elections

By Jean-Thomas Arrighi and Rainer Bauböck, EJPR, October 2016

How does international migration impact the composition of the demos? Constitutional doctrines and democratic theories suggest contrasting responses: an insular one excludes both non-citizen immigrants and citizen-emigrants; a deterritorialised one includes all citizens wherever they reside; a postnational one includes all residents and only these. This article argues that none of these predicted responses represents the dominant pattern of democratic adaptation, which is instead a level-specific expansion of the national franchise to include non-resident citizens and of the local franchise to include non-citizen residents. This is demonstrated by analysing an original dataset on voting rights in 31 European and 22 American countries, and outlining a level-sensitive normative theory of citizenship that provides support for this pattern as well as a critical benchmark for current franchise policies. The findings can be summarised in two inductive generalisations: (1) Voting rights today no longer depend on residence at the national level and on citizenship of the respective state at the local level; (2) Voting rights do, however, generally depend on citizenship of the respective state at the national level and on residence at the local level. In the article, these are called the patterns of franchise ‘expansion’ and ‘containment’. The former supports the idea of widespread level-specific expansion of the franchise and refutes the insular view of the demos. The latter signals corresponding level-specific restrictions, which defeats over-generalised versions of deterritorialised or postnational conceptions of the demos. In order to test how robust this finding is, cases are analysed where the dominant patterns of expansion have been resisted and where unexpected expansion has occurred. With regard to the former, the article identifies constitutional and political obstacles to voting rights expansion in particular countries. With regard to the latter, the article shows that even where national voting rights have been extended to non-citizen residents, containment remains strong through indirect links to citizenship.

Read full text at the website of EJPR.