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Immigration and Changing Definitions of National Citizenship in France, Germany, and Britain

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Abstract

This article looks at how immigration has recently contributed to changing definitions of national citizenship in France, Germany, and Britain. On the basis of comparative case study analysis, two widely held perspectives on current developments in national citizenship — the post-nationalist view and the national traditions perspective — are critically re-evaluated. Consistent with post-nationalists’ expectations, nationality laws have to some extent been converging. However, there has not been a simple linear progression from national to post-national citizenship models. Meanwhile, although the national traditions perspective is in accord with some continued differences among cases, a more flexible version of that perspective than has hitherto been used in this area is needed. Explaining the nature of the actual partial recent convergence in policies that has taken place requires a more synthetic approach supplementing existing accounts with greater attention to the shared objectives and causal beliefs that increasingly influence citizenship policies.

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Thomas, E. Immigration and Changing Definitions of National Citizenship in France, Germany, and Britain. Fr Polit 4, 237–265 (2006) doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200103

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Keywords

  • citizenship laws
  • naturalization
  • nationality
  • immigration
  • post-nationalism