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Comparative European Politics

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 649–670 | Cite as

The complexities of measuring naturalization rates in advanced industrialized countries

  • Thomas Janoski
Original Article

Abstract

To acquire, protect and promote their rights and interests, aliens naturalize, marry or are born into citizenship in Westernized countries. This article examines how much major receiving countries (that is, 18 countries from Europe, America, Australasia and Japan) accept foreigners as citizens into their societies over 35 years. This involves five issues about measuring naturalization rates and other assessments of nationality: (i) measuring the number of people who go through the naturalization process to become citizens (a narrow focus); (ii) measuring the number of people who are born of foreign parents and gain nationality through jus soli rules (a wide focus); (iii) determining the categorization of naturalization for foreigners who have special integration privileges; (iv) specifying the base upon which naturalization should be standardized – stocks of foreign population, stocks of foreign-born population or the population as a whole; and (v) considering other rates that may measure citizen integration (for example, rejection, cohort and group-specific rates). The main controversy involves whether researchers want a concept of naturalization that stays narrowly focused on a strictly definable process or a concept that opens up more widely to all the ways that immigrants become citizens.

Keywords

citizenship naturalization measurement jus soli 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article has benefitted from funding from the National Science Foundation, Grant SES 01-11450. It has been stimulated by the EUDO posts on citizenship and comments by: Maarten Vink, Marc Helbling, David Reichel, Ranier Bauböck, Jan Duyvendak, Anita Manatschal, Rogier van Reekum and anonymous reviewers. I also thank Darina Lepadatu, Karen Diggs and Chrystal Grey for research assistance.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Janoski
    • 1
  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of Kentucky, LexingtonKYUSA

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