The Double Irony of Citizenship: A Comparative Historical Approach to Naturalizing Immigrants in Advanced Industrialized Countries

  • Janoski, Thomas (PI)

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Naturalization rates vary considerably from country to country with rates in the United States and Australia being high, the United Kingdom and France being moderate, and Japan and Germany being very low. Naturalization rates not only measure the number of new citizens in a society, but also measure the extent to which states and societies formally integrate minorities into their realm. As such, naturalization rules and rates will have a large influence on: the quality of life of immigrants and their children, on ethnic conflict and social solidarity, on attempts at social control, and on the recent efforts at transnational unification (e.g., European Union citizenship and the possibility of North American citizenship). Given the importance of these issues, why do some countries willingly integrate and others block the transformation of strangers into full-fledged citizens? This proposal uses a political economy and institutional framework to explain naturalization rates in 20 countries, and collects new data on naturalization rates and innovative explanatory variables. Naturalization rates are explained using three methodological approaches-comparative/historical analysis of law and institutions; four case studies; and pooled time series analysis. First, from a comparative historical analysis of law and institutions, it is hypothesized that experiences with colonization and settlement cause high naturalization rates, while non-colonizers have no particular reason to integrate strangers into their country. The main explanatory factors are: colonization from 1855-1955, indigenous population decline from 1800-1920 as a measure of settler country labor supply, and a barrier index to naturalization constructed from national laws. Cross-national regression procedure will be used to explain a major part of the variance in naturalization rates from 1970-95. Controls are used for economic, demographic, cultural, and other variables, and arguments are made against the impact of immigration itself as an explanation of naturalization. Second, in four case studies using Millsean methods, pairs of culturally similar countries are examined to identify the institutional mechanisms that affected multi-cultural approaches to naturalization. In a comparison of the primary colonizers of France and the UK, the effects of the method of colonization and the elite decisions to pursue citizenship for a larger empire are examined. A documentary and time-series analysis of Germany and Austria show Germany as a non-colonizer developed into a mono-cultural empire hostile to naturalization and Austria as a European colonizer transformed itself into a multi-cultural empire that was more friendly to naturalization. Another documentary analysis of culturally similar countries shows that the Netherlands, as an early and extensive colonizer, has a much more liberal naturalization regime than Belgium, which was a late and reluctant colonizer. And the final comparative case study is of three Anglo-Saxon settler countries where the impact of differential treatment of indigenous peoples on naturalization will be examined. Throughout the case studies, the emphasis is on demonstrating the how elites made open or restrictive decisions about naturalization. Third, in a pooled time-series and cross-sectional analysis, the unit of analysis is the "yearcountry" (i.e., 20 countries from 1970-95 with about 500 cases). This allows a year-to-year analysis of political party power, unemployment, demographic changes, and other factors that are purported to influence naturalization. Zolberg's approaches to immigration) and will challenge previous economic, demographic and cultural theories of naturalization. It embeds cultural institutions within a larger political economy framework of colonization and emphasizes that theories of naturalization are clearly distinct from theories of immigration.
Effective start/end date8/1/017/31/04


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