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-Open Access


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.