Working paper Open Access
Blatter, Joachim K.; Erdmann, Stefanie; Schwanke, Katja
In this paper we present empirical data on the historical development, the current regulations and the political contexts of dual citizenship regulations in the world. With this focus on empirical data this report presents complementary information in respect to the first results of our research project. In the paper “Dual citizenship and democracy” Joachim Blatter (2008) discussed the normative implications of dual citizenship on the basis of six theories of democracy.
The first part contains an overview on existing surveys on dual citizenship. These surveys indicate that the acceptance of dual citizenship by countries has been rising strongly since Second World War. At the beginning of the 21st Century, from 189 analyzed countries, 87 show a rather positive stance toward dual citizenship and 77 a rather negative one. For 25 countries, the existing surveys do not provide consistent results.
In the second part of the paper, we present the findings of our own expert survey in which we collected more differentiated information about the contexts, salience, goals and specifics of dual citizenship regulation for 35 countries. Our data reveals the high political salience of citizenship regulations in many countries and the fact that the acceptance of dual citizenship is often a very controversial aspect of citizenship reforms. In line with the data in the first part of the paper, our data shows a steady trend towards broader acceptance of dual citizenship. Furthermore, we discover a trend towards more symmetric regulations of dual citizenship insofar that emigrants and immigrants are treated similar. Although this is mainly due to the fact that dual citizenship is facilitated for emigrants we do not interpret this as a reethnicization of citizenship but as a trend towards an expansive and non-exclusive notion of citizenship. Contrary to many normative theorists, most countries do not apply any restrictions for dual citizens in respect to political participation and in respect to taking political offices. Finally, our data does not confirm any “securitiza-tion” discourses. Both, the traditional/conservative fear that dual citizens might produce military or diplomatic conflicts between states and the liberal/critical warning that dual citizenship might be used for expelling and denationalizing migrants, which are perceived as threats to the host society, have proven unwarranted (so far).