Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Lambert

Second Advisor

Dr. J. Kevin Corder

Third Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Chien-Juh Gu

Abstract

Citizenship policy is important for democracies and for the people who live in them. Citizenship status is important for the individual enjoyment of social, political and human rights, and restricting access to citizenship can hamper a state’s enjoyment of legitimacy and stability. Across democracies, citizenship policies range from no allowance for dual nationality and very onerous naturalization policies, to acceptance of dual nationality and non-capricious paths to naturalization. The question of this dissertation is what accounts for the variation in citizenship regimes across democracies?

I argue that it is domestic politics through party in power, judicial review and strength of civil society that helps explain the variation in citizenship regimes. International organizations or treaties can formulate ideals of human rights, but it is the national governments that are still responsible for translating those international ideals into domestic realities. Security concerns may be used in political arguments against openness, but seem to have little influence on actual citizenship policy. Understanding the factors that influence the openness of citizenship policies helps us understand the variation that exists across democracies.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

6-15-2025

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