Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Lambert

Second Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Third Advisor

Dr. Sybil Rhodes

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until



This paper examines citizenship policy in Japan, Germany and Sweden in an attempt to explain why some rich, democratic nations have high rates of naturalization and non-restrictive paths to citizenship, while others have negligible rates of naturalization and very restrictive policies. Japan has a very restrictive policy while Sweden has a very open policy. Germany is a mid-level case that has moved from more restrictive to less restrictive over the last several years. In this paper I look at the explanatory potential of internal, institutional, and external variables. I use data from the W orId Values Survey to compare domestic attitudes. I look at constitutional provisions and the structure of judicial systems to compare institutional factors. I then compare regional integration and security concerns as external pressures. I conclude that cultural attitudes seem to follow, rather than precipitate, policy change, while the institutional and external factors are more promising as explanatory factors for variance in citizenship regimes.