Citizenship, Social Injustice and the Quest for a Critical Social Psychology of Peace: Majority Greek and Immigrant Discourses on a New Migration Law in Greece

  • Antonis Sapountzis
  • Maria Xenitidou
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


Tackling social injustice and the improvement of intergroup relations are core elements in the agenda of peace psychology (Christie, 2006). In this respect, granting citizenship rights to immigrant populations can be an important step in combating social inequality and promoting social justice. This chapter studies these issues in Greece where the political developments in Eastern European countries at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s led to increased migration flows to the country. Although many of these immigrants have lived in Greece for more than 20 years, they still do not fully enjoy citizenship rights due to the fact that Greek citizenship law prioritized ethnic criteria for the inclusion of immigrants to the national polity (Koning, 2011). In 2010, a new citizenship law was passed that introduced new criteria which enabled a jus soli approach to citizenship in Greece. This chapter examines the different constructions of citizenship mobilized by immigrants and majority group members in the context of interviews on this citizenship law. We examine how participants used the notion of ‘citizenship’. It is argued that while majority group members mainly prioritized the notion of ‘earned citizenship’, immigrants emphasized ‘the largely unconsummated citizenship obligations’ of the Greek state towards immigrants. The asymmetry between accounts is discussed in terms of ideological implications that hold for the notion of ‘citizenship’ and its role in encouraging peaceful co-existence.


Citizenship Discursive psychology Immigration Peace psychology Social injustice 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Democritus University of ThraceKomotiniGreece
  2. 2.University of SurreySurreyUK

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