Descent, Territory and Common Values: Redefining Citizenship in Canada

  • Elke Winter
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


Integrating the expression of ethnic diversity within the homogenizing logic of the nation state is a complex process. For many years, Canadian multicultural citizenship was portrayed as a role model for other countries in this regard (Runnymede Trust: Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, 2000; Kymlicka and Opalski, 2001). Recently, however, earlier steps towards the liberalization and multiculturalization of immigrant integration policies have been abandoned in many countries (Vertovec and Wessendorf, 2009). Several European states have introduced new citizenship tests that measure immigrants’ adequate skill of a national language, civic knowledge and value compatibility. Canada, too, has recently redressed the boundaries of its citizenship with respect to both legal status and identity. While, comparatively speaking, multiculturalism remains a staple of Canadian citizenship, ‘multicultiphobia’ (Ryan, 2010) — which had been superseded by fears of Québécois separatism in the second half of the 1990s (Winter, 2011) — has an increasing impact on what it means to be a Canadian citizen in the new century.


Female Genital Mutilation Citizenship Education Study Guide Democratic Citizenship Canadian Citizenship 
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© Elke Winter 2013

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  • Elke Winter

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