Becoming One of Us: The Politics of Citizenship in France, Norway and the UK

Citizenship and naturalization legislation in France, Norway, and the UK has changed substantially more during the 2000s than in previous decades. In which areas of citizenship policy have changes occurred? And how do these changes relate to the trend of reinvigorating the citizenship institution to increase social cohesion?

PHOTO: Creative Commons/lucastheexperience on Flickr.com

PHOTO: Creative Commons/lucastheexperience on Flickr.com

This blog post is an exerpt from a Policy Brief from the research project ‘Negotiating the nation: Implications of ethnic and religious diversity for national identity’ (NATION).

  • Citizenship legislation in France, Norway, and the UK has changed more in the 2000s than previously.
  • Countering terrrorism and striving for social cohesion are two clear areas of citizenship policy development.
  • The conflation of citizenship, immigration, and terrorism questions in policy creates dillemmas.
  • Permitting dual citizenship is increasingly becoming the norm in Europe.

What is citizenship? Vertical and horizontal dimensions

Citizenship refers to the relationship between the state and the citizen (vertical) and the relationship between citizens (horizontal). Citizenship is constituted by the mutually overlapping spheres: rights, duties, participation and membership. These are formalized through the citizenship institution. At a practical level, there is an objective distinction between those who are members of a particular political community: those who hold citizenship and have a passport, and those who do not, and thus are not formally members. A further distinction is subjective, between those who feel a sense of belonging and community with the people residing within the territorial boundaries of a state, and those who do not.

Read the full text of the recent PRIO Policy Brief: ‘Becoming One of Us? The Politics of Citizenship in France, Norway and the UK’

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