Citizenship Attribution in Western Europe: A Comparative Configurational Analysis (1985-2005)
Political Science Maastricht University Maastricht, The Netherlands
For panel on Citizenship and Governance (Guiraudon)
Abstract: Citizenship is an important organizing principle of political life. For individuals it is a status that creates a legal bond with a state and endows them with certain rights and obligations. For states, citizenship is an institution through which these associations of citizens perpetually reconstitute themselves. Within the European Union the competence to regulate the acquisition and loss of national citizenship, and thereby the access to Union citizenship, is still strictly tied to the national level. This paper studies how countries attribute citizenship and why they have done so in different ways. It uses data on citizenship legislation in fifteen European states that have recently become available from a large scale comparative study for the period from 1985 to 2005. The paper applies an innovative ?crisp-set? or Boolean comparative configurational approach to determine the causal influence of such factors as colonial history, size of immigrant populations, and the strength of rightwing populism.