Compensatory citizenship: Dual Nationality as a Strategy of Global Upward Mobility

Yossi Harpaz

Monday, March 7th 2016
10:45-12:45 Panel 1: The Global Geography of Multiple Citizenship


Many countries grant preferential access to citizenship to various groups of people on grounds of shared ethnicity, historical or cultural ties. In the case of EU countries such policies do not only create a special route to national citizenship but also trigger significant migration opportunities; since all national citizens are entitled to entry and stay in the EU area of freedom of movement. The Western press has been quick to sound the alarm bell on “millions” of Moldovans entering the EU through the Romanian backdoor. In the meantime, however, it was reported that one actual million of residents of Latin American countries silently claimed and secured Italian passports. This paper will analyse recent citizenship policies of EU countries in order to provide estimates about the number of both potential and actual people who could acquire/have acquired the citizenship of a EU country through preferential treatment based on ethno-cultural grounds (Euro-ethnizens). Firstly, it will develop a comparative typology of ethno-cultural rules of citizenship in Europe. Secondly, it will identify groups of people that can qualify for preferential treatment in different EU countries (e.g. ethnic minorities, emigrant diaspora, former citizens). Lastly it will gather and analyse evidence about the actual number of Euro-ethnizens (national statistics, expert reports, secondary literature). This primarily analytical and empirical investigation will shed light over a politically contested practice and provide the background for further normative inquiries into the relationship between citizenship, migration, ethnicity and privilege.


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