Democracy and the Nation State: Aliens, Denizens and Citizens in a World of International Migration 9780566071003, 9781138253551

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Democracy and the Nation State: Aliens, Denizens and Citizens in a World of International Migration
 9780566071003, 9781138253551

Table of contents :
Half Title
Introduction: Democracy versus the Nation State
PART 1 International Migration and Nationalism
1 Three Entrance Gates into the New Country
Regulation of immigration
The status as denizen
Populations of foreign residents and of denizens
The three gates
2 Membership of State and Nation
Citizenship and political rights
Citizenship as membership of the state
An obligatory membership
External and internal state-membership
Membership of societal subsystems
Membership of a nation
Citizenship in the future
3 The Emergence of a Modern Citizenship
Historical periods in international migration
Citizenship in the 19th century
Religion and citizenship
The development of citizens' rights
Economic liberalism and political nationalism
4 Nationalism and the Industrial Revolution
Nationalism and democracy
The origins of nationalism
The industrial revolution and general education
Nationalism and citizenship
PART 2 National Identity and Dual Citizenship
5 Citizenship in Europe Today
Attribution at birth
Adult acquisition
Comparison of some countries' citizenship policy
Classification according to form of government
6 Propensity to Apply for Naturalisation
Low interest in the Federal Republic of Germany
Indifference also in Australia and the United States
Interest in naturalisation by citizenship
An organizing scheme
A cost and benefit analysis
7 Dual Citizenship
Why a substantial increase in numbers?
Acquisition of a second citizenship
Inconvenience caused by dual citizenship
Some advantages of dual citizenship
A Council of Europe expert committee
The Swedish commission on citizenship
PART 3 Political Rights and Political Participation
8 Political Rights for Denizens 1945-1987
International law
Extension of political rights in the FRG and in Sweden
Political participation without political rights
9 Political Interest and Participation
Low political interest
Political resocialization of immigrants
Election systems and turnout rates
Immigrant elections and political participation in Sweden
Electoral turnout by citizenship
Turnout, social status and country of origin
Women's participation
Concluding evaluation
10 Voting Rights for Denizens
Obstacles to electoral reform
Constitutional obstacles to a reform
Evaluations of the first elections
Voting rights also in national elections
PART 4 Concluding and Normative Discussion
11 Two Models Based on Domicile
Residence and domicile
The naturalisation model
The voting rights model
The two models, compared and combined
12 Denizens and Political Rights
The large number of denizens
Voting rights for denizens
Naturalisation and citizenship
Dual citizenship

Citation preview


Research in Ethnic Relations Series

The New Helots Migrants in the International Division of Labour Robin Cohen

Black Radicalism and the Politics of De-industrialisation The Hidden History of Indian Foundry Workers Mark Duffield The Ghetto and the Underclass Essays on Race and Social Policy John Rex

The Politics of Community The Bangladeshi Community in East London John Eade

Race and Borough Politics Frank Reeves

Ethnic Minority Housing: Explanations and Policies Philip Sarre, Deborah Phillips and Richard Skellington Reluctant Hosts: Europe and its Refugees Daniele Joly and Robin Cohen

Democracy and the Nation State Aliens, Denizens and Citizens in a World of International Migration

TOMAS HAMMAR Director of the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations Stockholm University

First published 1990 by Ashgate Publishing Published 2016 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon 0X14 4RN 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA Routledge is an imprint o f the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

Copyright © Tomas Hammar 1990 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. ISBN 13: 978-0-566-07100-3 (hbk) ISBN 13: 978-1-138-25355-1 (pbk)


Introduction: Democracy versus the Nation State PART 1 1


International Migration and Nationalism

Three Entrance Gates into the New Country


Regulation of immigration The status as denizen Populations of foreign residents and of denizens The three gates 2

Membership of State and Nation


Citizenship and political rights Citizenship as membership of the state An obligatory membership External and internal state-membership Membership of societal subsystems Membership of a nation Citizenship in the future v


The Emergence of a Modern Citizenship


Historical periods in international migration Citizenship in the 19th century Religion and citizenship The development of citizens' rights Economic liberalism and political nationalism 4

Nationalism and the Industrial Revolution


Nationalism and democracy The origins of nationalism The industrial revolution and general education Nationalism and citizenship PART 2


National Identity and Dual Citizenship

Citizenship in Europe Today


Attribution at birth Adult acquisition Comparison of some countries' citizenship policy Classification according to form of government 6

Propensity to Apply for Naturalisation

Low interest in the Federal Republic of

Germany Indifference also in Australia and the United States Interest in naturalisation by citizenship An organizing scheme A cost and benefit analysis vi



Dual Citizenship


Why a substantial increase in numbers? Acquisition of a second citizenship Inconvenience caused by dual citizenship Some advantages of dual citizenship A Council of Europe expert committee The Swedish commission on citizenship PART 3


Political Rights and Political Participation

Political Rights for Denizens 1945-1987


International law Extension of political rights in the FRG and in Sweden Political participation without political rights Consultation 9

Political Interest and Participation


Low political interest Political resocialization of immigrants Election systems and turnout rates Immigrant elections and political participation in Sweden Electoral turnout by citizenship Turnout, social status and country of origin Women's participation Concluding evaluation 10

Voting Rights for Denizens


Obstacles to electoral reform Constitutional obstacles to a reform Evaluations of the first elections Voting rights also in national elections VII



Concluding and Normative Discussion

Two Models Based on Domicile


Residence and domicile The naturalisation model The voting rights model The two models, compared and combined 12

Denizens and Political Rights


Nationalism The large number of denizens Voting rights for denizens Naturalisation and citizenship Dual citizenship Conclusions Bibliography




Democracy versus the Nation State

The problem that I am going to discuss in this book is located at the crossroads between two basic political principles. The first one is the democratic idea of representative government, based on elections by general suffrage. The second is the nation-state principle which says that the world is divided into sovereign states and that only those who are citizens can claim a right to take part in political life, in other words that foreign citizens are not allowed to participate in political elections. Democracy is honoured almost everywhere, at least as a principle, but the modern system of states presupposes that as a general rule only those who are citizens are entitled to vote, to stand for election, to join parties, and to participate in political debate a.nd give voice to their political demands and interests. Both these basic political principles are young, and their present confrontation is therefore also new to us. During the second half of the 20th century, however, large-scale immigration has taken place, first of foreign workers, and later also of their family members. In several industrialised states of Western Europe, foreign citizens make up 10 to 25 per cent of the labour force. They were in the beginning expected to be temporary workers who would return to their countries of origin after a few years. Millions have not returned, however, but instead have extended their stay in the host countries. 1

This immigration challenged both the nation state and the democratic system. Large numbers of foreign citizens had been recruited to the labour market bringing with them new languages and cultures. Moreover, there were increasing indications that the majority of this new population was going to stay as permanent immigrants. While some states were ready to accept this as a fact, other states maintained the original idea that the foreign workers and their families were only temporary "guests", and not future members of the nation state. As only citizens were allowed to participate in political life, the implication was in practice significant limitations in representative democracy. A substantial proportion of adult workers were not represented, either at the local, the regional, or the national levels. The political balance between the working class and other social classes was in this way changed, and the interests and demands of foreign resident workers were not taken as seriously as they would have been, if they had had their own representatives. If we take democracy to mean that all those who are affected by political decisions shall also have a chance to take part in these decisions, if there shall be "no taxation without representation" to quote the revolutionary cry from 18th century America, then we have to admit that political democracy has not functioned as it should in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.

But democracy may also be interpreted to mean that only citizens are full members of the state and that therefore only they shall be represented in government, while foreign citizens shall always be excluded. If this is so, our problem may instead be said to be the granting of citizenship. If foreign -workers and their families obtained German, Dutch, Swedish or French citizenship after five or ten year of residence, and thereafter directly could take part in political life, then democracy would function again. But the actual situation is another. The rate of naturalisation is low, and the number of foreign residents who have not acquired the host country's citi2

zenship after 10 to 15 years of residence is almost everywhere surprisingly high. Change of citizenship by way of naturalisation or by other means could restore the congruence between the actual resident population and the population of citizens, but the democratic problem is that naturalisation does not function in this way in Europe at the present time. Citizenship is one of the keywords in this text, and at the same time a term which in daily language is used in more than one way, changing over time and from country to country. First of all, citizenship has both a formal and a substantive meaning. Formally, it is understood as membership of a state, and in substance it means the possession of a number of rights and duties in this state. I shall mainly deal with formal citizenship or formal membership of a state in this book, but I shall have to discuss also the relationship between formal and substantive aspects of citizenship. The problem which I shall discuss here is namely, as I have already indicated, on the one hand to what extent political rights should be given to those who are not formal citizens, and on the other to what extent and on what conditions formal citizenship should be given to foreign residents with a long period of residence. A substantial citizenship, with full and equal rights and opportunities, does not automatically follow from a formal citizenship, and we might quote Britain as one example of this. New Commonwealth immigrants were early on recognized as British subjects, but formal membership in the state and even full political rights have not been enough to provide them guarantees against unequal treatment. Formal citizenship could not protect against discrimination, but it has removed one obstacle which in other countries effectively keeps some residents out as non-members of the state. Not only formal citizens enjoy social and economic rights, however. In most states, foreign residents enjoy an increasing number of rights and have to fulfil many duties, although they are non-members of the state. Our discussion here of the 3

extension of political rights to foreign citizens with long residence in the country may be seen as one extreme example of a growing discrepancy between formal and substantial citizenship. It clearly demonstrates the need for a clear terminology in this discussion. My choice has then been to use the term "citizenship" exclusively to denote the formal citizenship, or the formal membership of the state. When discussing the substance of citizenship, I shall explicitly talk about rights and duties, enjoyed by residents in the country. The meaning of the term citizenship varies from country to country, following legal traditions, the history of each particular nation and state, and aspirations for the future. Interpretations of what citizenship means are further changing over time, depending on the context and on individual authors. Lawyers, sociologists, political scientists and several other experts may all have difficulty in understanding each other because of their different approaches to the subject. In Britain, the acquisition of formal membership of the state is regulated in the Nationality, Act, while in British sociology citizenship usually refers to substantial rights and duties. In a corresponding way, the French word "nationalite" means formal membership, while "citoyen" refers to rights and duties. In many countries, however, several nationalities or several ethnic groups are living together with the same formal status and perhaps also equal rights, and in some states - the USSR is one of them - "nationality" is formally used to indicate a person's membership in one of these national or ethnic groups. In my own Swedish language, formal citizenship is called "medborgarskap" (almost a verbal translation of citizenship), while civic rights and duties are called "medborgarditt" (rights of a citizen). We have in Scandinavia two words for the two forms of citizenship, and I guess this is also why it seems reasonable to me to make this distinction between on the one 4

hand formal citizenship - here simply called citizenship - and on the other rights and duties, enjoyed in a state.


In our search for possible solutions to the problems for democracy and for the nation state, caused by international migration, we shall in the first chapter of this book discuss three entrance gates through which immigrants must pass to enter into the new country: regulation of immigration, regulation of the status as permanent resident, and naturalisation. Chapter two deals with citizenship as an obligatory membership in a state, and as a membership in a nation, and includes also a discussion of other kinds of membership in subsystems of a society. In the following two chapters we shall then give a short historic background to citizenship, its emergence during the 19th century, and the relationship between industrialisation on the one hand and nationalism and the idea of the nation state on the other. In a second part, chapters 5 to 7, we shall discuss citizenship, naturalisation, the propensity of foreign residents to ask for naturalisation, and finally the advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship. By tradition, foreign citizens have not been allowed to participate in political life, and their political rights have been restricted. But during the last decades, this tradition has started to change (chapter 8): foreign citizens have been increasingly active in politics, and in chapter 9 we study to what extent they have shown interest and actually taken part in political elections, in countries where they have been allowed to do so. This third part of the book, is then concluded with an evaluation in chapter 10 of those electoral reforms mainly in Scandinavia and the Netherlands which have given voting rights to foreign citizens with three to five years of legal residence. I should like to add that this book is based on a series of articles and reports on this subject which I have written during the last ten years. As a Swedish political scientist specializing in international migration, I have been active in evaluations of 5

the Swedish electoral reform of 1975 which gave foreign residents in Sweden voting rights in local and regional but not in national elections. I want to mention my interest in this reform, as some of its results will be presented here, and also because I want to make clear from the very outset that my text has a bias in favour of this break with the traditional principle of "citizens-only" in political elections. Furthermore, I am personally more concerned about restoring democracy where it does not function because a permanently settled population of foreign citizens is disenfranchised, than about protecting the nation and nationality in those states which have received large new populations of foreign citizens. I am looking for remedies to the dilemma between democracy and the nation state both in the direction of further extension of voting rights and representation and in the direction of easier access to naturalisation, for instance through a right to naturalisation, or through automatic citizenship (as in France under certain conditions), but also by way of accepting dual nationality. I am well aware of many arguments and objections raised against reform proposals in this field. In a way, I am also writing this book in order to evaluate these criticisms and to find out how far the reform proposals might be accepted. Here I just want to make my personal bias clear, and at the same time promise that I will try to the best of my ability to account objectively for the complex problems at the crossroads between democracy and the nation state.


I have worked on this text in the stimulating context offered at the Center for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations of Stockholm University, and I want to thank all my colleagues there for criticism and support. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to discuss chapters in this book with many other friends and colleagues in various seminars. Donald Lavery has helped me correct and improve my English. Rosemarie Lindh and Wojciech Luterek have both given me a most valuable technical assistance. 6



International Migration and Nationalism



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Three Entrance Gates into the New Country

Democracy and sovereignty are symbolic words, acknowledged by everyone in authoritarian and totalitarian countries as well as in those where democratic government is actually practised. Both are paid at least lip service in capitalist systems as well as in socialist peoples' republics, in developing countries as in highly industrialised ones. Each sovereign state has the right to regulate the entrance of foreign citizens to its territory. This right is in fact generally accepted both in international law and in political practice, and while it is considered to be a human right to be able freely to leave one's country, there is no corresponding human right to enter another country. Instead it is the receiving country that is given the right to decide whether to admit those foreign citizens who ask for entrance. Regulation of Immigration

Everywhere goods are distributed by political decisions, and all those who are citizens of a particular country are entitled to share in this distribution of goods while most foreign citizens have no right to anything. They are instead supposed to be given their share in the country where they are citizens. In a well-functioning democracy, where opinions are formed freely and political decisions are based on elections and 9

referenda, the electorate decide directly or indirectly through their representatives on the distribution that is valid for them. And the same democratic procedures are normally used to decide about the general principles for the admittance of new members to the country, and for the naturalisation of foreigners who will thereafter, as citizens, have a right to take part in the distribution of goods. One major cause of international migration is economic inequality between countries. But because of many obstacles, international population movements get underway only when special preconditions are met. Information must be available about opportunities and gains that can be hoped for, and a certain standard of living must already be achieved, for otherwise emigration is far too expensive and perhaps almost outside realistic imagination. An increase in applications for immigration to the Western industrialised countries may signify that an improvement in living standards in some thirdworld countries has widened the group of people for whom emigration may be an option in the 1980s. And as a result these Western countries have reinforced their systems of regulation and control. 1 During the first part of the 1970s, the recruitment of foreign labour was interrupted everywhere in Western Europe. This did not mean that all immigration was absolutely stopped, but only those were admitted who could claim that they had special reasons to come. Border controls, visa regulations, special checks of the airline routes and of ferries between some countries etc. were directed to a control of persons who arrived from countries with presumed large latent immigration: Turkey, the North African states, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and in the USA of course, primarily Mexico. 2 1. Freeman, G P, 1986, Migration and the Political Economy of the Welfare State, in Special issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, pp 51-63. 2. Hammar, T, ed, 1985, European Immigration Policy, Cambridge University Press, pp 246 ff.; Castles, S, 1984, Here for Good, Western Europe's New Ethnic Minorities. Pluto Press, London, pp 28 ff.


It is interesting to note what kind of special reasons for immigration are most often accepted. First, almost everywhere, family reunion is granted, at least after several years of stay. It is seen as a moral obligation for a host country not to force families to live divided by territorial borders. There is also a common feeling that persons previously admitted deserve special treatment, as they are already related to groups and individuals in the country's population. People have already learnt to know each other. They may even have fallen in love and plan to get married. Pupils may be in the same class as children of foreign citizens, or their parents may themselves have worked together with some foreigners etc. The more international travel and communication expand, and the more there is of personal ties between citizens and foreigners, the harder it will be to maintain the distinction between those who are citizens and those who are not, and consequently also to enforce an absolutely strict stop for immigration.

In Western countries, immigration is also granted to political refugees, even if the control has become more and more restrictive everywhere. The right of asylum, as stated in the Geneva Convention of 1951, was based on the experience of Jews during the Second World War and of refugees during the Cold War that had followed. Asylum shall be granted all those who fear persecution for political, religious, national or racial reasons, and not only, as during the interwar period, to those who have committed political crimes. Still, many of those who claim that they are political refugees and should be given asylum are, after more or less thorough checks, refused and deported. An intense discussion has gone on during the 1980s, whether the gate-keepers fulfil their moral obligations and whether the asylum seekers are actually persecuted as they themselves maintain, or perhaps only concealed economic immigrants. All these are exceptions to the rather rigid immigration stop that has lasted since 1972 - 1974. It is a generally accepted norm that sovereign countries have the right to regulate their 11

own future population, its size and its composition. It does not matter that the density of the population and the gross national product per capita can vary from very low to very high. This may be used as an argument when pleading for economic aid or increased assistance to refugees, but no country can be forced to give up its independent decisions about the regulation of immigration or, for that matter, birth control. Other states may of course make their complaints and ask for solidarity with their problems. As an example of this, the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees (the UNHCR) in Geneva is constantly asking states to admit more refugees, at least in proportion to their material ability to take responsibility for the world's growing refugee problems.3 The Status as Denizen

Foreign citizens who have been allowed to enter a state's territory, are usually not allowed to stay on without restrictions. States have full power to regulate the length of stay and to expel any foreign citizen when this is deemed to be in the state's interest. The reasons can be manifold: the behaviour of the foreigner himself, e.g. a criminal offense or an immoral act; or unemployment and consequent social welfare costs. Or there may be political reasons: a persona non grata, a threat of disturbance of public order or a threat to national security, etc. According to traditional international law theory, full residence rights are given to citizens alone (in some countries only to citizens born in the country, and not even to all naturalised citizens). In practice, however, many foreign citizens have also gained a secure residence status. Even if they are not citizens of the country, they can for example only be deported in extreme 3. Gallagher, D, ed, 1986, Refugees: issues and directions, Special issue of International Migration Review Summer 1986; Loescher, G and Scanlan, J, eds, 1983, The Global Refugee Problem: US and World Response. Special issue of The Annals of The American Academy of Political Science.


emergency situations. They may have lived such a long period in the host country (15 -20 years or more), their family ties may be so strong (parents or children are citizens) or they may hold such an honoured position ( as scientists, artists or sportsmen etc.) that they in fact constitute a new category of foreign citizens whose residence status is fully guaranteed or almost so. Those who belong to this category have also in several countries been entitled to equal treatment in all spheres of life, with full access to the labour market, business, education, social welfare, even to employment in branches of the public service, etc. A new status group has emerged, and members of this status group are not regular and plain foreign citizens anymore, but also not naturalised citizens of the receiving country. They are a group of alien residents that we will call "denizens". The need for a new and special term for this category of alien residents has also been emphasised by the Norwegian professor of international law, Atle Grahl-Madsen. Commenting on a proposal of an Aliens Act, he suggested a number of amendments that would further strengthen the legal position of foreign citizens in relation to the police, the courts and the administration in Norway. His argument is that the traditional definition of who is a foreigner and who is a citizen no longer corresponds with the actual situation. In many immigration countries, great numbers of foreign citizens have established intense and close relations to the country. Some have lived there most of their lives. Some may even have been born there by parents of foreign citizenship. They may have grown up in the country and gone to school there. They may be absolutely fluent in the language, which may be their mother tongue. They may own property in this host country, and some may be influential businessmen or professionals, while others may hold other high positions. They have permanent residence permits, but for various reasons, they have remained foreign citizens, and perhaps also prefer to retain their original citizenship. 13

In German and in Scandinavian languages the word for foreigner is Auslander or utlanning, where "Aus" and "ut" means from the outside, while Inlander or inlanning than refer to persons who are from the inside, belong to those who are permanent residents etc. Grahl-Madsen suggests that a differentiation should be made in any aliens act, between three categories, namely 1) foreign citizens, 2) permanent residents, and 3) citizens. In the following we will support this proposal.4 Since most citizens are also permanent residents, we need a special term for those who are both permanent residents and foreign citizens, to distinguish them from those who are permanent residents and citizens of the same country. Both of these could namely be called Inlander, but it is the foreign permanent residents that interest us here. We will use the term denizen to emphasise that they are a category per se, with their own specific status in relation to two states. "Denizen" is an old English word that up to the 1840s was used for "an alien to whom the sovereign has by letters of patent under the prerogative granted the status of a British subject" but who was not allowed to "hold public office or obtain a grant of land from the Crown". Before 1844 full naturalisation required a decision by Parliament, a private act. This old usage of the term denizen as privileged aliens who were not full citizens, seems to be parallel to the one proposed here for denizens of today, although the differences are certainly also great. As the term is little used today, it seems to be free from misleading connotations or political values. It is nevertheless introduced here only with some hesitation, as it might lead our thoughts back to a historic past. I therefore wish to make it quite clear, that my use of the term denizen is not historic here, but strictly technical.5 4. Grahl-Madsen, A, 1985, Norsk fremmedret i stopeskjeen. Et bidrag till debatten om ny fremmedlov, Universitetsforlaget, Bergen. 5. Quotations from the Oxford Companion to Law 1980.


Indeed, we need this term, for this book is about denizens. It deals with their status and how it is obtained, with their political rights including the right to vote. Denizens' political participation and turnout in elections are other important topics treated here, as is the naturalisation of denizens, i.e. their acquisition of full citizenship or perhaps their hesitation to opt for naturalisation, if they cannot also keep their original citizenship and become dual citizens. As should be evident by now, the term denizen will be used

here for persons who are foreign citizens with a legal and permanent resident status. This means that although they are not citizens of the country in which they have their domicile, they have been given the right to stay there permanently (with a reservation only for exceptional situations, e.g. serious crimes or threats to national security). Those foreign citizens, whose permits expire and must be prolonged after a certain time period, are not denizens. And those who are naturalised and have become dual citizens, are no longer denizens either, for they are full citizens of the country in which they stay, as well as citizens of some other country. In other words, a denizen cannot be a citizen of his country of residence. We can use a cross-tabulation of citizenship and domicile to illustrate this argument further (table 1). The usual dichotomy between citizens and aliens is insufficient and must be supplemented with another one, a dichotomy between domicile abroad and domicile in a certain country, here called A. Denizens are foreign citizens with domicile in this country. They are a small group compared to the total number of foreigners abroad. They may be a minority of all foreign citizens in the host country, but their numbers have increased remarkably during the last decades. Similarly, only a small part of a country's citizens are domiciled abroad, while the large majority are citizens with residence "at home", i. e. in the country where they are citizens. 15

Table 1

Cross-tabulation of citizenship and domicile




! I


! !


Citizenship 1 1 I ------------------r--------------~ I I


l :


in country A



I of country A

! I









Foreign citizem abroad




Citizem abroad




1"-------------------t----------------------------------'---------------------------..I I

In country A


Foreign citizens in country A

and among them Denizem





Citizem in country A




The decisive criteria used here are first domicile and then full residential rights. Many foreign citizens, present in country A are not denizem, however, but temporary visitors, tourists, guest-workers etc. who do not want to get or who have not yet obtained a permanent resident status. They may need visa or temporary residence and work permits, and some of them have a stable and legal residence in country A and are therefore domiciled, but they do not hold full residential rights, and are therefore not denizens. In other words, among domiciled foreign citizens in a country A, we find both those who have only temporary permits, and those denizem who have permanent permits. It is important to distinguish between immigration regulation (gate 1), the first entrance gate to a new country, and regulation of domicile and residential status (gate 2). It is when passing this second gate into the new country, that a foreign citizen obtains full residential rights as a denizen. There is then also a third entrance gate for those who 16

naturalise into full citizenship (gate 3). But many foreign citizens remain, as we shall see, outside this third gate, long after they have qualified for naturalisation, and the category of denizens is therefore large. Figure 1

The three entrance gates

gate 1 gate 2 gate 3


Temporary foreign visitorsjguestworkers Denizens



We have illustrated the three entrance gates with three concentric circles (figure 1). The outer circle represents immigration regulation, the second one represents control of domicile and residential status, and the third one represents naturalisation. The inner area is large for it represents all the citizens residing at home. The second area represents the population of denizens, while the third and outer area then represents foreign citizens on temporary visits or work in the country. Populations of Foreign Residents and of Denizens

The development of large permanent foreign populations was not foreseen in the 1960s, when labour recruitment began. Several countries wanted single, young males as temporary workers, and not the immigration of foreign workers and their families. If the demand of labour fell, recruitment would stop and foreign workers would be encouraged to return to their country of origin. Those who became unemployed, would not get their work and residence permits extended, and they would in this way be forced to return, if they did not leave on their own initiative. In theory, the state could, if absolutely necessary, make use of its right to deport foreign citizens, but in practice this kind of mass deportation has not been applied anywhere in Europe since 1945.6 In 1966-67, several hundred thousand foreign workers left the Federal Republic of Germany, more or less voluntarily, because of unemployment. Seven years later, when labour recruitment was halted, most of them stayed on instead, and this was tolerated in part because German industry had a positive interest in not losing an already trained labour force. Again several years later in the 1980s, rather generous compensation schemes were offered to unemployed Turkish workers who volunteered to return for good, and numerous families accepted this offer. But the idea of a potential mass deportation, based on the right of the state to decide whether 6. Hammar, T, 1985, pp 257 f. 18

foreign workers were wanted or not, was by then long since obsolete.? When France stopped labour immigration in 1973 and the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974, the total number of foreign workers fell somewhat, but because of an increase in family reunions, the total number of foreign residents did not decrease. It remained at the same high level of some 12 million foreign citizens residing in the Western industrialised states (table 2). The rate of naturalisation has been extremely low in some countries - e.g. the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland - and even if it has been much higher in France and Sweden, a substantial number of the foreign residents have not acquired the citizenship of these states. 8 In the 1980s, however, a major change has taken place anyway, a change in the legal residence status of foreign citizens with long duration of stay. In France, illegal foreign workers were offered the opportunity to make their status legal through regularisation, and new permits were introduced that improved the status of foreign citizens, especially those who had a long duration of stay in France. In the Federal Republic of Germany and in Switzerland, permanent resident permits were issued to 60 - 80 per cent of the foreign population, mainly because they had already spent more than ten years in the country. Sweden had gone even further, offering permanent resident status to those foreign citizens who had spent one year as legal residents in the country. 9 As a result of this combination of long duration of stay, of a

low rate of naturalisation and of improvements in the status of foreign residents, the size of the denizen population in Europe has increased immensely. The consequences of this develop7. Esser, H, and Korte, H, ibid, pp 170 ff. 8. See chapter 5 below. 9. Hammar, T, 1985, p 295; Hammar, T and Lithman, Y G, 1987, The integration of Migrants: Experiences, Concepts and Policies, in The Future of Migration, OECD, pp 234 ff. 19

ment must be considered and discussed. The traditional legal concepts of foreigner and of citizen are still the most frequently used, but we must not let them hinder us from observing the factual changes that have taken place and from finding alternative arrangements more suitable in this new situation. We must analyse the position, status and competence of denizens and we must also discuss the system of admittance, first of an alien as a temporary resident, second of a temporary resident as a permanent denizen, and third of a denizen as a full citizen. The Three Gates

Michael Walzer discusses the question of admittance in his "Spheres of Justice" (1983), but considers only two control stations on the road into an immigration country, namely the regulation of entrance and of access to citizenship through naturalisation. Walzer writes about the distribution of social goods mainly within one political community, and he argues rightly that this distribution is usually made for a population of the country's citizens. In affluent societies being a member of this population is in itself a valuable social asset which is, however, taken for granted by those who already possess it. It is distributed by them to others, who have not got membership but who would like to get it. Many applicants would like to come in, but only few are admitted, and this restrictive policy is followed in the interests of those who are already members and who claim the right to admit only those whose entrance is beneficial to the receiving community and to themselves as members of it. 10 As mentioned above there is a further narrow entrance that

prospective members must pass through on their road into the receiving society, and this is the entrance located between the two mentioned by Walzer, the gate through which temporary residents must pass in order to be admitted to the status of 10. Walzer, M, 1983, Spheres of Justice, pp 31 ff. 20

denizens. During the 1970s and 1980s, it has taken a very long time for most foreign citizens in Europe to be allowed to enter through this gate, which opens up full social and residential rights of the host society. In 1989, however, most foreign citizens have obtained a secure residence and work status and become denizens of the receiving host countries. On the other hand, for several reasons that we shall discuss, most of them have not yet approached or reached the third gate: they have not asked for or obtained citizenship. The three gates at the entrance of the industrialised welfare states of Western Europe (as well as of other affluent societies in the world) are: Gate 1. Regulation of immigration, granting work and residence permits for short periods which may be prolonged but which also mean a risk of deportation, for instance because of unemployment. Those foreign citizens who have entered through this gate are among other things also called guestworkers or workers temporarily abroad. Gate 2. Regulation of status as denizen, granting permanent work and residence permits without time restrictions or the need for prolongation, and conferring full social and legal rights, but usually not full political rights. Those foreign citizens who have successfully entered through this gate, are in our terminology denizens. Gate 3. Naturalisation means the granting of full citizenship including political rights, and the recipients are called naturalised citizens.

The relative size of these three categories has undergone drastic changes during the last ten years. It is however rather difficult to find reliable data, and especially to find data that can be used for comparison among European immigration countries. The well-established yearly SOPEMI exercise of the OECD is based on "available statistics", which means that the reader must remember that data have been compiled in diffe21

rent ways, using various definitions etc. The general tables presented each year are, however, the best overviews which are "available", and they give us the following overall picture of the size of the populations of foreign citizens and of denizens in the major immigration countries (table 2). 11 Table 2


Foreign citizens in West European immigration countries with exclusion of Great Britain, according to the SOPEMI in 1974 and 1987 and an approximation of the number of denizens (in thousands)

Foreign citizens

Denizens (approxim.)

Immigration countries



Belgium France FRG Netherlands Sweden Switzerland Other countries

800 4 050 4130 350 400 1070 1200

900 3 750 4 630 570 400 980 1270

20% 75% 60% 60% 100% 75% 20%

180 2800 2 780 340 400 740 260


12 500


7 500



Note: France is based on estimates from 1986.

There are about twelve million foreign citizens residing in Western Europe. France and Germany both have foreign population of around four million. The French census of 1982 showed that the number had previously been exaggerated because of the methods that had been used, counting all residence permits without reduction for those who had actually left the country during the permit period. The revised figure for France was 3.7 million foreigners, which is 700,000 11. Sopcmi 1973-1987, Continuous Reporting System on Migration, OECD, Paris, 1974-1988.


less than the 4.6 million in the Federal Republic of Germany. 12 Within the European Community, citizens of member countries are given a preferential treatment. Free circulation is allowed, the labour markets are open, and no work or residence permits are required. This gives citizens of the EEC member countries a status similar to that enjoyed by citizens of other countries who have been admitted as denizens. The same applies to Nordic citizens in all the five Nordic countries. The proportion of foreign citizens with denizen-status is not known, but estimates have been made for some countries and general information about the existing permit systems can be used as a basis for an informed guess about the others. The results are of course not accurate in detail, but they are likely to give an idea of the present situation. More than half of the foreign resident population of Western Europe, Britain not counted, are denizens. But why is Britain not counted? The reason is that Britain, up to the Nationality Act of 1981, divided the world's population into two categories, British subjects and the rest, called the aliens. British subjects were all those who were citizens of Britain and its colonies or of one of the Commonwealth states. Before the Commonwealth Immigration Act of 1968, British subjects were free to enter the United Kingdom, and enjoyed, as soon as they had registered as residents, full citizenship rights, including the right to vote and to stand for election. Compared to immigrants in France, the Federal Republic of Germany or in other immigration states in Western Europe, those New Commonwealth immigrants who came to Britain in the 1960s and 1970s were from their first arrival privileged, granted, as they were, a secure formal status. They resembled 12. Approximations of numbers of denizens are made by the author on the basis of Sopemi 1987 and information from official sources about permanent residence permits.


in this way citizens much more than denizens - and this is why they are not counted in table 2. Since 1948, the Irish Republic is not a member of the Commonwealth, and Irish immigrants in Britain are not British subjects, but according to the British Nationality Act of 1948 they shall be treated as if they were. The Irish do not fit into the basic dichotomy between subjects and aliens. They are, as it has been said, neither subjects, nor aliens. But they enjoy all the rights of British subjects, the right of abode and of employment, full political rights etc. They can even hold a British passport, i. e. register themselves as British subjects, and if they do so they do not have to renounce their Irish citizenship, in case they had already registered as Irish citizens. Dual citizenship is not registered and not forbidden in the United Kingdom. For our purpose here, Irish immigrants in Britain must therefore - although they hold this position inbetween subjects and aliens - be considered rather as de facto citizens than as denizens. 13 Even when we leave out New Commonwealth immigrants and Irish immigrants in Britain, table 2 demonstrates that there is a large number of denizens in Western Europe. Out of in all 12 million foreign residents, more than 7 million are denizens without full political rights. The unexpected outcome of the large-scale recruitment of foreign labour in the 1960s and early 1970s therefore brings us to a discussion both of political rights for foreign residents and especially for denizens, and of naturalisation or the system of admission to the third category, that of full citizens. At present, democratic representation does not function well, in as much as several million long-term residents are not allowed to take part. Moreover, since immigrants are for the 13. Miles, R, 1989, Nationality, Citizenship and Migration to Britain under the Labour Government 1945-1951, paper presented to the ECPR conference in Paris; Layton-Henry, Z, (Immigration Policy in) Great Britain, in Hammar, T, 1985. 24

most part workers, this lack of representation means that the working class in the immigration countries does not receive a fair share of political mandates in decision-making bodies. This deficiency has not been repaired by a quick and simple incorporation of foreign citizens into the electorate through naturalisation. In the next chapters we shall therefore discuss first naturalisation and citizenship and then in the following chapters the political participation of foreigners. Our aim is explorative and normative: it is to determine what creates this dilemma, and what alternatives may be available to us, if we wish to use them.



Membership of State and Nation

We have already mentioned the assumption, basic to democracy, that those adult women and men who reside on the territory of a state are also its citizens and thereby enjoy full political rights and must meet all obligations to this state. The total resident population is in other words usually taken to be equivalent to the people, or the total number of citizens. In the real world, this is of course only a theoretical construction. Citizenship and Political Rights

According to nationalistic values, all states should be based on nations, and all nations should form states. Neither of these values has been fully realized, however. And although the nation state and nationalism continue to demonstrate their great strength, both the nation state and citizenship of a nation state have been challenged in a large number of ways: by economic and political integration in several regions, and especially by the EEC; by multinational companies; and by international capital flows. We could add many other factors which have an impact on the growing interdependence in the international system, such as the growing importance of inter1. This chapter is partly a revised version of a paper presented at the Xlth World Congress of Sociology, New Delhi, India 1986. The paper has been published by International Migration 1986:4, Geneva, pp 735 -748.


national governmental and non-governmental organizations in all sectors of activity, the network of direct contacts between corresponding units across national boundaries. The political hegemony of some powers over other pro forma independent sovereign states gives another type of example both in Eastern Europe and in many post-colonial relations. International migration offers yet another example of this trend towards a transnational and multinational situation. The receiving states have asked for labour and later found that they had to be more or less prepared to accept families, with their need for housing and schooling etc. Nevertheless, these states have with few exceptions always refused immigrants access to political life, and they have often been very reluctant to grant them citizenship. 2 At the end of the 1980s, there are, as we have seen, large populations of foreign citizens in most industrialized states in Europe, and these populations pay taxes, benefit from the social services, belong to trade unions and associations etc, but they are not represented in decision-making bodies. This problem might be remedied by granting foreign residents the citizenship of the receiving state, and to varying degrees naturalisation does take place. The rate is rather low, however, and there seem to be several obstacles to naturalisation. The parallel development of citizenship and political rights in the past may have led us to assume that the two are part and parcel of each other and cannot be disintegrated. Nationality (as ethnic and national identity) is also often confounded with citizenship and this tends to make the ties between citizenship and political rights even stronger. The questions we will address below are therefore: what is the range of possible definitions of membership of 1. a state, and 2. a nation and 3. what are the possible relations between these two. 2. Hammar, T, ed, 1985, European Immigration Policy, Cambridge University Press.


Citizenship as Membership of the State

According to the United Nations there are some 160 states in the present world. Characteristic of them all is that they can make authoritative allocations of values for their societies (Easton). They have a legitimate claim that they are sovereign in relation to other states, and they possess a monopoly of legitimate violence within their territorial borders (Weber) . Although there are several levels of public politics, from small units such as a local community within the state up to the world political system of all states, in the present era only the political system at the state level can claim this external and internal sovereignity. 3 Each state is therefore sovereign to decide who are its citizens, and most states have enacted their own nationality laws, which have many common features but which also differ in many respects. When decisions about citizenship, naturalisations or renunciation of citizenship are taken in one state, other states are also concerned, and the interests of these states must be taken into account as well as international conventions and customs. The international political system has not provided a collective security system able to prevent military threats and the use of open violence. Instead, each state must be ready to protect its own interests and also, as a last resort, to use its military forces. Most states therefore have high defence expenditures and compulsory military service for their citizens. They see no other option in the prevailing international anarchy than to act as if a war could come upon them any day, and this has a definite impact on their perception of citizenship. While citizens in many countries are obliged to do military service and to defend their country in case of war, foreign residents may be subject to extra control or even detained during a war, unless they are citizens of an allied state, in 3. Easton, D, 1964, The Political System, Alfred A Knopf, New York. 28

which case they may perhaps be voluntarily enrolled in the defence forces. Citizens are expected to be loyal to the cause of the state and willing to make all the sacrifices necessary in a critical period. Foreigners are on the other hand suspected to be less trustworthy or even potential security risks. Since a state must always be prepared for the worst, this suspicion of foreign residents may also be widespread in normal, peaceful conditions.4 When we say that the authoritative allocation of values characteristic of a state is considered to be valid for a society, we use the word society as a summary concept to refer to numerous systems of social interaction, systems of different size, age and form, and representing different aspects of societal life, such as economic, social, cultural and political. While states usually have territory with certain borders and are expected also to have long if not eternal lives, societies may be only vaguely delimited in space and time. Furthermore, societies change, for instance when changes in the modes of production have an impact on the social interaction patterns on which these societies are based. While societies are in this sense open to change and to new members, the state acts as a controller, regulator or gatekeeper, attempting for instance to control entrance to the labour market, the economy or to political life etc. Nowadays all states are active in regulating the welfare of their population and not merely passive, laissez-faire observers, watching to see that some basic legal norms are maintained. Even if the size of the public sector and the degree of state involvement differs widely from one state to the other, the effect is probably everywhere the same, namely that the population is increasingly dependent on legislation and tax money, on regulations and on services provided for them. 4. Hinsley, F H, 1973, Nationalism and the International System, Hodder and Stoughton, London, pp 163 ff.


The very existence of such welfare states has increased social interaction and cultural communication within the borders and among people living in the same state, and at the same time, limited interactions and communications across the borders. The general trend is, however, as we have seen, the opposite. For many reasons transnational interactions have become more frequent, and this outbalances the trend towards autarchy. In short we could say that the nation states are strengthened by the demands of national security as well as by their domestic welfare policies, but at the same time weakened by growing transnational and international relationships. An Obligatory Membership

Citizenship has a formal aspect as the legally acknowledged membership of a state, based on a decision about naturalisation, option or other kinds of acquisition. In the present tradition, it usually means a right to reside in the country and to enter the country, as well as diplomatic protection in other states. A citizen is further entitled to a number of rights and obliged to fulfil a number of duties. Citizens must be loyal to the state, and if necessary be prepared to fight and die in its defence. Naturalised new citizens are normally granted the same rights and duties (although some states may make reservations to this). Many states maintain that a person can hold only one citizenship, while many others accept dual and multiple citizenship both in theory and practice. The number of persons who actually are citizens of more than one country is not known, for statistics of this kind do not exist, but the number is without doubt already high and quickly increasing. Citizenship, unlike many other forms of membership, is not voluntary. Normally, (although practice varies), citizens are free to quit the state's territory but not to renounce their state membership, if they for some reason would like to do so. Foreign citizens are on the other hand not free to become citizens, if and when they themselves might want to. The deci30

sions about citizenship are taken by the state and not by the individuals. The state, or the agency that can make such decisions on behalf of the state, decides whether a citizen shall be allowed to renounce his citizenship, and whether a foreigner shall be granted citizenship. In this very significant way, citizenship is distinguished from other kinds of membership: it is based on co-optation and it is obligatory for those who have already become citizens, which normally means for most people living in the country. According to the official policy of several states, a citizen can never lose his citizenship, and renunciation is not accepted, even if it is true that some of these states in certain exceptional cases may practise expatriation, for instance as a consequence of treason. Once a Greek or Moroccan, you will in principle always remain a Greek or Moroccan, but you may perhaps also obtain another citizenship, for this official policy does not always prevent dual or multiple nationality. It may on the contrary in practice even make it easier for citizens of these states to acquire another citizenship, since immigration states know that persons coming from these states can never free themselves from their previous citizenship. In several European countries there is therefore an increasing number of Greek citizens who are also citizens of the state in which they have found their domicile. Other states, accepting that some of their citizens want to be freed from their citizenship, only check that this does not mean that they become stateless persons. No one should be an apatride, a person who has no citizenship and therefore no state territory where he can by absolute right take up his residence, and further no state to give him diplomatic protection. The obligatory citizenship might be seen as a device to divide up the world's population and in principle each one of us should belong to some state. The principles for granting citizenship vary, however, from one state to another, as we have already seen. Some states apply mainly the ius soli or territory principle, and other the 31

ius sanguinis or blood principle. But most legislations nowadays combine both of these principles. In several new citizenship or nationality acts, children are acknowledged the citizenship both of their father and of their mother in cases where the parents do not hold the same citizenship. In many industrialised states a married woman no longer follows her husband with regard to citizenship. Woman and man are treated in the same way and have equal status. As a result there is today not one single but several differing principles guiding the division of the world's population into citizens. States do not usually require that foreign citizens taking up residence on their territory become citizens within a certain period of time. Canada encourages immigrants to naturalise quickly. Other traditional immigration countries do or have done the same, often assuming that every immigrant wants to stay on as a settler. Most states offer the opportunity to naturalise after five to ten years of residence, but do not press or even encourage foreigners to use this chance. Some states have set severe conditions or employ expensive or discouraging procedures, showing little or no interest in naturalisation. For the second generation it may be otherwise. Children born in the country may in some states become citizens automatically or if they do not themselves voice objections against that. In other countries it may be easier for the second generation to fulfil the requirements of citizenship since they have been raised and educated in the country. But there are also states, that treat a child born by foreign citizens on their territory as any other foreign citizen. Correspondingly, emigration countries often grant children born abroad the citizenship of their parents, but after more than one generation abroad, the citizenship ties to their parents' country may be cut off. The intention with rules of this kind is of course to establish a long term congruence of domicile and citizenship. But in most states' citizenship legislation, the time perspective used is an extremely long one, streching over several generations. During periods of large-scale international migration, such as Europe


has experienced since the Second World War, millions of people have come to spend a large part of their life as foreign citizens, formally "abroad". As we have seen, it may even happen that their children lack a real opportunity to obtain the citizenship of the country where they were born and educated, and plan to live. Of course this does not correspond with the principle that citizenship is mandatory, nor with democracy, for they are excluded from political life. The issue raised is whether an obligatory membership does not need a less shaky and differentiated basis then the present-day citizenship, and whether some kind of domicile principle would not be a better candidate. External and Internal State-Membership

In a discussion of modern European citizenship and naturalisation policy, an American political scientist, Rogers Brubaker, has proposed a distinction between an external and an internal state-membership. Just as the globe is divided into states, the world's population is divided into populations of those who hold the same state-membership. There exist deviations from this norm, for some are stateless, and others have multiple memberships. But most people possess one and just one state-membership.5 External membership "divides the world's population into those persons whom the state may protect (anywhere in the world) and must admit, and those persons whom the state may not protect (through external diplomatic action) and need not admit". An individual person is either an external member of the state, or he is not. There are no grades inbetween. External membership is then not identical but very close to "citizenship" as it is usually understood in international relations. However, the simple division of the world's population 5. Brubaker, R, 1989b, Citizenship and Naturalisation: Policies and Politics, in Brubaker, R, ed. 33

by way of external state-membership does not function well, because decisions are left to each sovereign state and not regulated through an international system which is applied in the same way everywhere. Each state is, as we have seen, sovereign to recognize and deny its own members, and there are states which revoke membership for a person and afterwards even expel or refuse re-entry to their former members. There are on the other hand, several states which naturalise also persons who thereby get dual or multiple memberships. Internal state-membership is a legally defined status within the state. It means rights, privileges, and obligations, and individual persons may hold only some of these rights, while others have full rights. Internal membership is in this way graded from full rights, which is usually called "citizenship", to several rights as for denizens and down finally to almost no rights, for instance, for foreigners with short term tourist permits. Even those who have only few rights and obligations are by Brubaker counted as internal members of the state - at least to some extent or in some respects, and this is what makes this distinction important. It reminds us that not only full citizens, but also many other persons are tied to a state by strong connections. According to Brubaker's distinction, internal membership is therefore less distinct and more complex than external membership. Internal members must have some connections with the state, but it is an open question how strong these connections have to be. External members are mostly also internal members, but the latter also includes all those persons, who are present on the state's territory and who have "enough" connections to the state. The traditional view is of course that internal and external membership should coincide, but for many reasons they actually do not anymore. The more informal connections are accepted as the basis of an informal membership, the more the circle of internal members is widened. 34

Brubaker makes two important points here. First he tells us that membership of a state or "citizenship" has both international and domestic aspects, and that these two aspects deserve separate treatment. Recognition of a person as citizen of a state may for instance in some situations be seen as a message to other states, but in other situations it may be a decision to grant someone a status, some rights and duties, valid within the state, and without international implications. Second, he shows that there is a need for a thorough discussion of what components in fact enter or in principle should enter into internal membership. Traditional citizenship is only one kind of relationship to a state, and a number of other relations exist de facto and de jure. Membership of Societal Subsystems People may live as foreign citizens in a state, rent apartments, work full time, send children to school, pay taxes etc, and their actual participation may include some and exclude other parts of societal life. A foreign citizen may therefore be said to be a member of one or several societal subsystems. The following five may be mentioned as some examples of major importance, which a foreign citizen may be member of 1. the labour force, as an employee or a job seeker etc 2. the resident population as a house owner or a tenant 3. cultural life, as a musician, artist, author, scientist 4. the economy as a businessman, director of enterprise, etc 5. politics as an adviser, journalist, opinion leader. In these five cases, as in others, membership means that a person functions in this subset of the society, is counted as part or partner, and is in contact with other persons or in some sense interrelated with them. All this takes place in accordance with 35

the law and in legally accepted forms. It is acknowledged in some way or tacitly accepted. The state can regulate the conditions on which foreign citizens can become members in these various subsets of the society in several ways. Let us look at some examples of this power of regulation. 1. Foreign citizens can be excluded from the labour market.

The import of foreign labour may be stopped, demands for work permit may be refused. Of great importance here is, however, the fact that in the 1970s and 1980s, when all recruitment of foreign labour was terminated and family reunion was restricted to close family members, most immigration countries made no attempt at mass-repatriating foreign workers and their families. Something of a norm was in fact established in several states, saying that those foreign citizens who have worked a longer period in the country shall not thereafter be forced to leave the country because of depression and unemployment. 2. Recently, foreign residents have also come to enjoy a similar extension of their rights. It is true that in almost all countries, only citizens have an absolute right to stay there. But several countries - the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland have already been mentioned as significant examples - grant permanent resident permits to increasing numbers of foreign residents who have spent more than 8 or 10 years in the host country. 3. Still less restrictions or limitations exist in democratic states for those who are active in cultural life. In many cases, special arrangements are instead made in order to facilitate their stay in the country, as scientists or artists etc. However, in totalitarian states the same kind of people may be subject to special controls and restrictions, as regards permits to visit as well as the right to leave the country. 4. The economy is increasingly and often heavily dependent on international trade. International economic cooperation and the division of labour have increased to such an extent that 36

severe restrictions can hardly be imposed on foreign capital, multinational companies and their representatives. The economy is often quoted as the sector of the society most open to the the external world. In fact, however, the foreign ownership of enterprises or of property is still subject to special measures of control. 5. Politics is the part of society from which foreign citizens have almost always been excluded. Even in this respect, however, changes have occurred in several immigration countries. Freedom of association, of speech and of the press have been extended to foreigners as well. Some countries have even granted foreign citizens voting rights in local elections. Thus not even political life is any longer completely closed to foreign residents.6 Membership of a Nation

Even if citizenship in a legal sense implies membership of the state, it is often viewed to be just as much membership of a nation, especially in states where nation and state largely coincide. As we have already seen, the two forms of membership are often mixed up and it seems to be very hard to clearly distinguish them from each other. As the claim of most nation states is that there is a congruence between state and nation, membership in one is taken to mean membership in the other as well. Now it is notoriously difficult to define the nation properly. Many attempts have been made, and most of them include the same ingredients: history and descent, language and culture, a shared socialization or education, religion, and in some cases also some shared physical characteristics of members of the nation. Great significance is also attached to the subjective definition given by individuals and groups. They may be considered members of the nation only when they themselves 6. Membership of the political system will be the main topic of several of the following chapters. 37

accept this. And one further criterion may be that other groups consider them to be members of this nation. 7 Using this general idea of what a nation is, we can ask what the consequences are for adult immigrants who settle permanently in a country of immigration. If they themselves want to acquire membership of the nation of the host country, they will probably meet one or more of the following obstacles: 1.

They do not share in the nation's descent and history (if their parents did not once emigrate from this same nation).


They do not master the language and culture and they have not been socialized in the schools of the host country.


They may adhere to another religion.


They may carry physical traits that make them easily visible and distinguishable as non members of the nation.


They are often not acknowledged by the native majority as members of the nation.

But in several respects the situation of this first generation of immigrants differs significantly from that of the second generation, born in the host country: 1.

To some extent the second generation already shares history and descent with the nation, as members of this generation were born and educated in the country.


In the schools of the host country they have learnt to master language and culture, at least to a much larger extent than their parents, and even if their socialization may differ somewhat from that of other young people of their age, they share the major part of the native young people's socialization.

7. See chapter 4 for a discussion of nation and nationalism. 38


They may be of another faith just as their parents are, but religion may play less of a role for them.


The visible physical characteristics may differentiate them more than anything else.


The native majority may be more likely to accept them as members of their nation.

A major change between the two generations is assumed here. While the first generation of immigrants is seldom accepted as full members of the nation of the host country, not even when they have become naturalised and received their passports, those who belong to the second generation are often accepted as members of the nation born in the country. Many exceptions exist however. Turkish youth in the Federal Republic of Germany, blacks in Great Britain, "les beurs" i.e. Algerians and others from Maghreb in France etc. In various ways these young people are considered to deviate too far from the normal pattern, or to be too concentrated in one area or school etc. They are futhermore usually easy to distinguish from the rest of the population on the basis of the colour of their hair or their skin, their dress or behavior etc. Some of them have not received enough education and training and some lack language proficiency. Citizenship in the Future

A lifelong and exclusive citizenship is today still the regular and most frequent form of membership in a state, but there are at the same time an increasing number of individuals who change citizenship during their life time, who hold more than one citizenship, or who spend most of their lives in another state than the one in which they are citizens. We expect that these kinds of exceptions from the lifelong and exclusive citizenship will grow in numbers during the near future, at least as much as they have done during the last decades. International migration increases and many states are very slow and even unwilling to naturalise foreign residents. 39

On the other hand, many immigration states have opened up their societies, for instance their labour markets, housing areas, culture etc to foreign residents, and even granted them full rights to stay permanently in the country. A new category of members of the state has evolved, denizens who do not have citizenship and political rights, but who in most other respects are fully accepted, and treated as if they were almost citizens. Within the EEC, the idea of a European citizenship has been launched. It has not advanced much, but there is now a common cover to the national passports, showing that the holder is a citizen of one of the EEC member states. Voting rights to the European Parliament may also be seen as a step in the same direction. A Nordic citizenship has also been conceived, but only in the sense that the Nordic countries wish to harmonize their legislation to provide citizens of the other Nordic countries full and equal rights, voting rights to the Parliament being the only exception of major importance. There seems to be an increasing need in the future for forms of political organisation that allow both for units larger and for units smaller than that of most of the present states. The ways in which we deal with this problem of the size of the political unit will have direct effects on the future of nationalism but also on the future of citizenship, with regard both to how it will be perceived and to its legal forms and consequences. The growing interdependence of all states in this world is a result of limited resources, of serious threats to the environment, of technological advancements, of the super powers' overkill capacity, and also of international migration. States will have to give up more of their sovereignty. An international debate has already begun about the impact that this development may have on membership of state and nation. Before we go deeper into this discussion here, we shall in the next two chapters take a short look at the history of modern citizenship and nationalism. 40


The Emergence of a Modern Citizenship

Looking for alternatives for the future, we need a historical perspective. Citizenship in its modern form is a young institution, and young is also that connection between formal citizenship and political rights, which today often is considered to be so close that the two are seen as more or less identical. How old is the legislation converning acquisition and loss of formal citizenship? What are the traditions and definitions in different countries, and how have they changed over time? And how has the relationship between formal and substantial citizenship, and especially political rights, developed since 1789? These questions are very broad, and our answers must be sketchy and meager. There is a vast literature that is of relevance, but so far few works focus directly on these questions. Moreover, those that do take up only some of our aspects: the public law aspect, for instance (Grawert 1973) or the sociology of nationalism (Gellner 1983). An ecclectical attempt will be made here to combine elements from several authors into a preliminary history of modern citizenship. 41

Historical Periods in International Migration

Let us begin however by outlining the major periods of international migration during the last two centuries. As we shall see, these periods are based on immigration and emigration policies, first of all in Europe and in the USA, and these policies are in turn usually closely related to the same countries' citizenship policies.l The first period is characterized by free migration in Europe and free overseas emigration to America and Australia etc. In the middle of the nineteenth century, economic liberalism removed mercantilistic hinders and established a systematic free trade policy, including also liberation from control of population movements. During half a century, up to the First World War, foreign travel was not controlled in Europe, with the exception of tsarist Russia. The number of people travelling in foreign countries was very modest, and as passports were seldom asked for abroad, citizenship was often not taken as seriously as later. People could go to other countries without passports. They could even take up work and residence without permits. But individual foreign citizens could during this period also be deported or sent back to their country of origin, if the police or the Governemnt decided that this was in the public interest. The reasons were many: a foreigner could for instance be deported because he was poor, sick, or perhaps because of a criminal offense, but also for direct political reasons, "in the public or national interest". During this period, which afterwards has often been regarded as the ideal period that hopefully would soon return, the European population was growing fast, because of high birth and low death rates. At the same time, the immense emigration from Europe to other continents, amounting in all to about 34 million emigrants, partly reduced this population growth. Only France and Switzerland received substantial numbers of immigrants already before 1914. 1. Hammar, T, 1985, pp 239 ff. 42

National economic interests demanded protection against imports of inexpensive agricultural products already in the 1880s, and a nationalistic wave appeared in European politics. This was also the period when Italy and Germany became united each in its nation state, and when an intense competition for colonies was set off. But it was not until the First World War that systematic immigration regulation and control of aliens appeared in almost every country. The second period, starting in 1914, is characterized by the introduction and successive construction of this system of regulation and control. The provisional decrees, first issued during the war, were in the 1920s and 1930s made permanent in subsequent national aliens acts. The depressions in both decades caused severe unemployment, and political demands were raised everywhere for additional and stricter control to protect the domestic labour market from all foreign competition. Refugees from Hiders nazi-regime and especially the Jewish refugees, were unwanted everywhere partly because of this unemployment trauma. Racism that was spread throughout Europe must also be part of an explanation of why all doors were closed to these unfortunate refugees. 2 The third period starts in 1945 after the Second World War and ends with the recruitment and immigration stop in 19731974. This is again a period with relatively liberal immigration regulation, characterized by a demand for labour in industrialised European states, by the admittance of spontaneous immigrants or by the recruitment of hundred of thousands of foreign workers. This is also the Cold War period, when refugees arrived in Western Europe from East-Germany, Poland, and Checkoslovakia etc. These refugees were willingly accepted and rather quickly integrated. It is also the period of decolonialisation, when independent Asian and African states were established, and when substantial immigration took place from former colonial areas to the former colonial powers, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal. 2. Koblik, S, 1987, The Stones Cry Out, New York. 43

The Aliens Acts and the general systems of regulation and control of immigration of foreigners were not changed during this liberal period. They were retained from the previous interwar period and they were even applied, but in a liberal way. At this time it was not in the public interest to hinder immigrants from coming. No general prevention was needed, only protection against individuals who were not desirable for one reason or another (poverty, immorality, criminality etc. as in the period before 1914). On the other hand, no special efforts were made to plan for or provide realistic opportunities for integration into the host countries. Instead, as we have already seen, it was assumed that this labour immigration of the 1950s -1970s would only be temporary and that the immigrants would sooner or later return to their country of origin. The social infrastructure (of housing for immigrant families, schooling for immigrant children etc.) was mostly almost totally neglected. When this is written, the fourth period, starting in 1973-1974, may already have come to its end. The sharp increase in refugee immigration from the Third World, and especially from Asia, that started in the beginning of the 1980s, will perhaps in the future be seen as a new and fifth period. It may be too early to decide when the fourth period has come to an end, but the characteristics of this fourth period seem to be clearly visible already now. Once again, the regulation of immigration has become very strict. Labour immigration is almost completely terminated in Western Europe, although exceptions exist in the form of seasonal workers e.g. in Switzerland and in the form of illegal immigrants in several countries. The trend in the late 1980s seems to be that illegal employment is more and more reduced by improvements in legislation and especially by considerable and effective fines on employers of illegal workers. All immigration to Europe has not stopped, however. Families are allowed to reunite, and political refugees are admitted. The control of those claiming that they are political refugees has therefore become 44

crucial, when all other opportunities for immigration have been cancelled. The four periods of international migration which are suggested here are in sum the following: 1.

Free immigration and large emigration



Immigration regulation and aliens control: a provisional system made permanent, because of unemployment and racism.



Liberal immigration: recruitment of foreign labour, and colonial immigration



Strict immigration regulation: only family members and political refugees admitted.


Citizenship and naturalisation policy have also changed during these four periods of shifting immigration policy, although not in the same manner of 1. opening - 2. closing - 3. opening - 4. closing the gates. It is the significance and meaning of citizenship that has undergone major changes during the twentieth century, and there are, as we shall see later, several other reasons for these changes besides those discussed here. But in 1914, when citizens were mobilised to fight in their countries' armies, and when citizens of enemy countries were considered to be unwanted and unreliable persons, perhaps even spies, the individual's citizenship and passport were suddenly given new weight and importance. And when the war was over, immigration remained strictly regulated, now in the interest of the domestic labour market. Finally, as a result of large immigration during the third period, there are in the fourth period millions of denizens residing in Western Europe. Also in this fourth period, citizenship is of course of great importance to individual persons as well as to states, but there are increasing numbers 45

of people who have established strong relations to more than one country. They are citizens of one country and denizens of. an other, or they are citizens or denizens of more than one country simultaneously. The political rights of denizens, naturalisation and dual citizenship - the major themes of this study - are therefore issues of great concern. Citizenship in the 19th Century

Modern citizenship is only about 200 years old. It emerged after the Revolution in France and the Napoleonic wars, at the time when constitutional states were established in Europe, and when nationalism started to become one of the major social movements of our time. The new concept of citizenship was accepted both in states, where one nation and one language dominated, and in states where there were several nations and languages. It reflected in some states traditional religious institutions, and in other states an ongoing secularization of public life and sometimes also a separation of church from state. The various combinations of citizenship and nationalism and the different chronological order in which they attained significance, have had effects of long duration on citizenship and nationality legislation in Europe, effects that have lasted into the late 1980s.3 The French Revolution and the wars that followed brought about a number of changes in the European political system as well as in international and constitutional law, changes that the following Restoration could never completely reverse. Among them were changes in the notion of the sovereign state and the closely related concept of citizenship. Up to that time there had been many supplementary and competing systems of defining who were the subjects of a sovereign, and sovereign power had been invested in persons 3. Grawert, R, 1973, Staat und StaatsangehOrigkeit, Verfassungsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Entstehung der StaatsangehOrigkeit, Schriften zur Verfassungsgeschichte Band 17, Duncker & Humbolt, Berlin. 46

and institutions of varying rank and form of organisation. The sovereign could be an emperor, a king, a duke or prince etc, but also for instance a free city. The relationship between a sovereign and his subjects was of a personal character. The sovereign offered protection, peace and good government, while the subjects promised obedience, loyalty, support, taxes etc. The division of power between a sovereign and his subjects could vary, but the sovereign decided who were his subjects. A sovereign king was seldom elected. Instead he usually obtained his elevated position by inheritance as the oldest son of the previous king. And at his ascension to the throne, his legitimate rule was given a religious confirmation. Even if he was not always seen as a king by the grace of God he was the high centre of a political hierarchy of power, established by God. The legitimacy of his dynasty was not derived from the will of the people, and the members of this people were his subjects and not citizens of the state. In this tradition - and this observation has been made by Benedict Anderson - "where states were defined by centres, borders were porous and indistinct, and sovereignties faded imperceptibly into one another". And this applies then both to the territorial borders, and to those borders that might have been used to define the legal population of subjects to the king. 4 This traditional and greatly differentiated system has subsequently been replaced by a political community, a state, in which citizenship is defined in a general and abstract way, not based on personal ties, on religious legitimacy, or on political or social privileges. This new citizenship legislation does not specify what positive rights follow from being a citizen but gives the basic rules for decisions and judgments about who are citizens and who are not, as well as the prerequisites for acquiring and for losing citizenship. 4. Anderson, B, 1983, Imagined Communities, pp 25 f.


In the beginning of the 19th century, these ideas were introduced almost simultaneously in the legislation of several European countries for the first time. - But as ideas, they were in no way new. They were already well known from the political and constitutional literature of the previous centuries. In particular Bodin's and Hobbes's doctrines about a sovereign state, in which all power was undivided and vested in a sovereign prince, had laid a ground for the absolutist government of the late 17th century. Their significance for the modern concept of citizenship stems from the great emphasis they put on the unitary state. During the era of absolutism that had followed in the 17th and 18th centuries, political power had been concentrated to the central government of the king, depriving autonomous princes, free cities and others of their independent jurisdiction. A direct membership of the state and a kind of abstract equality had in this way been established among all the king's subjects, and this can be seen as an opening to the equality of "citizens" which was proclaimed during the French Revolution.s Rolf Grawert, a German historian of constitutional law, has made a thorough study of the origins of modern citizenship, first of all in German, but also in Austrian and French legal history. Somewhat to his astonishment, he has found that it was in a short period around the year 1800 that modern citizenship legislation emerged almost simultaneously in several European states. One striking example of the great differences in the understanding of citizenship before and after the French Revolution is quoted by Grawert. Before 1789, the foremost legal difference between a French subject and a foreigner was that the king of France had the right to the inheritance, not of his subjects, but of foreigners residing in France (droit d'aubaine). After 1789, French citizenship was instead given a political significance of allegiance and loyalty to France. It implied a 5. Grawert, R, 1973, pp 90 ff and 114 ff. 48

duty to meet the responsibilities that France might lay upon its citizens, including military service. However, when general suffrage for men was granted in the first constitution of 1793, a distinction was made between citizens of French nationality (nationalite) and those among these French citizens who enjoyed full political rights (citoyens).6 French traditions of a strong, unitary state with one and the same language may have facilitated this development and prepared for the acceptance of a new concept of citizenship. The problems may have been greater in the AustrianHungarian monarchy, but the results were very similar there as well: a citizenship valid for the whole of the monarchy. Rolf Grawert does not discuss the wave of nationalism that swept over Europe during and after the Napoleonic wars. In the first decades of the 19th century, the Nation or the Yolk was attributed increasing significance in all spheres of life. This politically provoked nationalism gave new significance to the nation state and therefore also to the notion of citizenship. We will later return to this aspect. Religion and Citizenship

A few comments must be inserted here abouf.athe secularisation of the state and citizenship. We may take France and Sweden as examples. During "l'ancien regime", several hundred thousand French protestants, the Huguenots, had emigrated because of persecutions and oppression. In 1789, more than 200 years of religious warfare seemed to come to an end, when these French protestants were invited to return and were directly acknowledged as citizens of the new French Republic. Citizenship was no longer a matter of religion, but rather a political matter, conveying rights to political participation. 6. Ibid, pp 76 ff.


About 50 years later, in the middle of the 19th century, six persons were sentenced to expatriation and loss of their Swedish citizenship because they had converted to Catholicism from the Lutheran faith which was the only one accepted in Sweden. A few years later, in 1858, this special kind of punishment for heresy was finally abolished. It is no coincidence that this happened in the same period when the internal and external passport control was done away with and the first Swedish citizenship legislation was enacted? Sweden had taken a very active part in the Thirty Years War 1618-48 between the true Lutheran religion and Catholicism. During this period, when Sweden was a Great Power, many foreign-born specialists were welcomed to the Swedish troops as well as in the Swedish weapon industry, but only on condition that they were of the right confession. Some immigrants from Wallonie - today located in Belgium - were, despite of protests of the Swedish church, allowed to remain Calvinists. No other subjects of the king were permitted during this period to believe in, and absolutely not to openly confess any other than the evangelical Lutheran religion, for this would threaten the core interests of the state, involved in a war, which to a large extent, and certainly in symbolic terms, was a religious war. Several languages and different national cultures and origins were accepted in the Parliamentary debates in the House of Nobility in Stockholm, without fear that this would threaten the unity of the state. Membership of the state was not yet based primarily on ethnicity, origin, or language but instead much more on religion. The official doctrine was that Sweden was lucky possessing a true evangelical gospel that brought salvation to its subjects in the middle of a world of Catholics and heretics. Only when everyone in the country confessed this same true religion could unity and strength be maintained, and therefore no deviations from the right belief could be 7. Hessler, C-A, 1956, Slaten och rcligioncn i upplysningstidens Sverigc, Uppsala. 50

allowed. To this was added during the 18th century, a utilitarian argument, for instance by the German-Swedish political philosopher and historian Samuel Pufendorff, to the effect that religion was a necessary foundation of any state, for only those who believed in God could be expected to behave as good and virtuous subjects.8 The Development of Citizens' Rights Many sociological and historical works discuss how relations between individuals and their societies developed from the medieval times to the days of both the French Revolution and the industrial revolution, which had begun in England and was about to start elsewhere in Europe. The term "citizen" is in the literature often used to denote 1!Q1 the formal membership of a state, but the substance of duties and rights of individuals in the society or in the state, and no special consideration is then given to the case of foreign residents or of immigration and naturalisation of foreign citizens. The historical extension of those rights which follow from or give substance to citizenship, and which at the end are granted to all individual members of a society, is, however, of great relevance to our discussion here. This development has brought about not only changes in the individual's relationship to the state, but also in the state itself, and in the meaning of membership of this state. T.H. Marshall has based his discussion of this extension of citizens' rights mainly on England's modern history. He distinguishes three elements, civil, political and social rights, and finds that civil rights came first, already during the 18th century. They were necessary for individual freedom, such as freedom of speech, thought and faith, the right to own property and the right to justice. Next, during the 19th century 8. Lindroth, S, 1978, Svensk lardomshistoria Frihetstiden, pp 542 ff, Norstedts, Stockholm. 51

came political rights, by and by extended to a broader electorate, until at the end of the First World War general suffrage was granted to women and men. Thirdly, although systems of elementary education, health service and other forms of social services had started already earlier, it was during the 20th century, that social rights and rights to share economic welfare and security were fully developed. 9 In very broad terms, like these used here by Marshall, the three elements of citizenship's rights, civil, political and social, can be found also in other European states. If they were not always as neatly divided as in Britain, they at least occurred during formative periods in the same consecutive order. Common for the three elements of citizenship rights is the principle of equality, i.e. that they should be open to all on equal terms, but each one of them also brought about different consequences. Civil rights set legitimate limits to political authority and establish a relationship between the individual and his government, based on justice and the idea of a free public opinion, in which all individuals are at least formally entitled to participate. But overall political power does not change, until representative democracy has been broadened to encompass all adult members of the state by way of a general and equal suffrage for women and men. When this is achieved the political work to grant positive, social rights, equally to all members can really start, social 1ights which shall give everyone a minimum social security and a protection against loss of income. In our analysis, we have earlier found that in the beginning of the 19th century the old concept "subject" was being replaced by a new one, "citizen", and that this demonstrated a new understanding of the relationship between a state and its 9. Marshall, T H, 1977, Class, Citizenship and Social Development, Chicago University Press (quotes from pp 91 f); Turner, BryanS, 1986, Citizenship and Capitalism, The Debate over Reformism, Allen & Unwin London; Claude, R P, 1976, Comparative Human Rights; Bendix, R, 1964, NationBuilding and Citizenship, Studies of our Changing Social Order, John Wiley and Sons, New York.


members. This also reflected that a new kind of state was emerging, and that citizenship did not as before denote a personal relationship between an individual and a prince, but instead a general and abstract relation to the state itself, a special kind of mandatory membership, defining rights and duties. T.H. Marshall in his analysis of civil, political and social rights reaches a similar conclusion. At the end of the 19th century there developed, he writes "a growing interest in equality as a principle of social justice and an appreciation of the fact that the formal recognition of an equal capacity for rights was not enough" to reduce social inequality. Thus the principle of equality, common for all rights and duties, had an integrating effect, stimulating "a direct sense of community membership, based on loyalty to a civilization which is a common possession. It is a loyalty of free men endowed with rights and protected by a common law." The question we have to ask, is then: equality for whom? Who are those considerad to be members of this state, and entitled to share in its rights and duties? To what extent are these rights available also to foreign citizens, to denizens and to naturalised citizens? All of them are not human rights, granted to all human beings without consideration of state membership. They differ from one state to another, and some rights, as for example the political, have been reserved fo.r members of the state, the formal citizens. In several immigration countries, social rights are in the late 20th century given also to aliens, but only after special decisions or in accordance with international agreements. The more significance these social rights have for an individual's personal welfare, the more valuable it is not to be excluded from the system. The value of citizenship may in this way vary both with the gate-keeping system at the three admittance gates, discussed in our first chapter, and with the rights granted to those foreign citizens and to those denizens who are located outside these gates. Some immigrants may be attracted by the social 53

benefits that they could obtain if they were admitted. Especially in xenophobic political speeches, it is often claimed that immigration control must prevent foreign citizens from taking up residence in the country mainly to make use of the rights and benefits that can be enjoyed there. This popular argument is, however, not the reason why welfare states in fact often do regulate immigration in a very strict way. The reason is instead the principle of equality, which makes it costly to treat foreign residents differently from citizens in the long run. In doing this, dual standards are established, for instance in working conditions, housing, and education. Furthermore, this would also mean that no upward social mobility would be allowed, in sum an acceptance of a type of class system with the newly arrived or those of foreign citizenship at the bottom without social or political rights. All this would be against the ideas of the welfare state. Only for those who in a real sense are temporary g4ests, could a social differentiation of this kind perhaps be tolerated, and then only for a short period, since no temporary stay can last more than a short period. There have been and there are still in the late 1980s, facts that point towards a dual labour market or even towards a general dual standard or a class system with foreign citizens lowest down. The trends are, however, today the opposite. Social and political rights are gradually being extended to residents who have stayed long periods in the host countries. But the prerequisite for this new policy is that immigration is stopped or at least strictly limited, and it is therefore largely after the general termination of labour recruitment in 1973-74 that social and political rights have been granted to foreign residents. While citizens of European states were first given civil, then political and finally also social rights, as we have seen here, foreign citizens have obtained access to the same rights in another order and not to the same degree. 10 Social rights were 10. Rosas, A, Medborgarskap och rostratt, i Forhandlingene ved det 30. nordiske juristmotet Oslo 15-17 august 1984, Oslo, 1985, pp 227 ff: Hammar, T, Political Rights of Aliens, in Layton-Henry, Z, forthcoming.


often given to them first, probably just because these rights are basic in the welfare states, but also because political rights are considered to be more closely connected to membership of the state. In most European immigration countries civil rights have recently been granted to denizens who now often enjoy, for instance, freedom of speech, of assembly and demonstration, freedom of the press, etc. They may even be allowed to form their own associations or to join existing political parties. But voting rights and the right to stand for political election are in most countries the privilege of citizens. We will discuss this in detail later and then also the exceptions in some countries, and especially voting rights for foreign citizens in local and regional political elections. Economic Liberalism and Political Nationalism We have already mentioned that international migration during a 50 year period from the 1860s and to the First World War was free from national control and regulation. Economic liberalism replaced the previous mercantilist regulation of the national economy. According to its basic principles, international trade should not be hindered by regulations and customs, imposed by individual nation states. Everyone would gain from an international division of labour that disregarded borders and citizenship. 11 The implications of this liberal ideology were international, and not only national. But liberalism was soon confronted with strong demands for the protection of national interests, and already in the 1880s, this protectionism once again won the day in Europe. When tariffs on the import of corn were raised, the previous mercantilist regulation of the economy was not reintroduced, however, nor was immigration of foreign citizens controlled as it had been before.

11. Hammar, T, 1985, pp 239 ff.


The free-trade era was in other words much shorter than the era of free travel. There were many demands for control of foreign immigration, raised in European countries, but up until the beginning of the First World War, there were, as we have seen, no restrictions on foreign travel. The interdependence between international trade policy and immigration policy was evident, however. Protectionism was followed by an increased national agitation with repercussions for immigration as well, and the growing international tensions, the military preparations and finally the world war itself ended abruptly the period of free international travel. Citizenship, passports and visa suddenly gained great significance. Seventy years later, in the end of the 1980s, it is again evident that the international division of labour, international movements of capital and international labour migration etc. have taken on much larger proportions than ever before. International economic cooperation has developed quickly, and especially in Europe, economic integration has advanced so much that the national economies of the EEC countries are no longer fully independent. At the same time, however, the strength of the nation states as sovereign units is also clearly demonstrated, and the political consequences of this development are still hard to predict. However, it is not unlikely that citizenship will be revised in the not too distant future. We have seen here that modern citizenship, which emerged in a certain historic period around the year 1800, was, like the state itself, a product of its time and its economic and political context. A form of citizenship adapted to our period of time will have to take into account the now prevalent economic and political preconditions of the state, including existing transnational and international economic and political relations, and among them those caused by international migration.



Nationalism and the Industrial Revolution

The major part of this chapter contains a discussion of some aspects of nationalism relevant to the history of citizenship. In particular we shall ask why nationalism has become such a strong social movement during the last two centuries, and what it has implied for citizenship. First, however, we shall briefly discuss the seemingly parallel development of citizenship and political rights for citizens. Nationalism and Democracy

The end of the First World War was seen by the allied victors both as the beginning of democracy and as the establishment of the principle of the nation state. Every nation should have its own sovereign state, and every adult citizen in such a state should have full political rights. As we now know, both principles were hard to realize. The new democracies met many obstacles and ran into a severe crisis in the 1930s. The new political map, drawn up at Versailles, could far from satisfy all nations and national minorities by giving them their own sovereign state, for there were so many of them and they were so intertwined in Europe. 57

Nevertheless, the principles of democracy and of the nation state were both proclaimed as core values in 1919, and they may have seemed to follow parallel routes in the development of modern democracies from 1789 to 1919. In a sense they may have been perceived of as two aspects of one and the same modern political institution, the democratic nation state. Citizens are often defined not only as those who are members of a state, but also as those members with full political rights, and we have in previous chapters met the interpretation of citizenship as membership of a welfare state. Our question here is therefore to what extent the development of a citizen as member of the nation state was related to the simultaneous development of a democratic citizen. The democratic nation state needed a definition of membership that made it clear who were its citizens. First of all, it was important to know who were its active citizens, members of the electorate. The idea of the nation state implies that the same definition shall function also as a delimitation of the nation. All citizens should be of the same nation, and the policy of the state should strengthen national unity. Some constitutions and electoral laws explicitly state that citizens of the state shall be allowed to vote and to stand for election, while others only say that the "people" or the "nation" shall exercise this sovereign power through its elected representatives, without specifying who constitute the people or the nation. During the end of the 19th century, only a small percentage of the people enjoyed full political rights, often only rich and educated adult males, and the best weapon in the struggle for democracy was therefore criticism of existing privileges. In retrospect, it is interesting to observe that during the political campaigns for democracy no one discussed voting rights for foreign citizens. (The French constitution of 1793 that also gave voting rights to some foreign citizens is the only exception to this.l) Now, before 1914, there were in most countries 1. Verbunt, in Hammar, T, 1985, pp 152 f; Wilhol de Wenden, C, 1984b, p 5.


few foreigners with long residence, and therefore no reason to start a debate about voting rights for denizens. When general suffrage for men and in most countries also for women was accepted around 1919, it was taken for granted that citizenship in the sense of member of the state was synonymous with active citizen with full political rights, a member of an electorate or a political community. It was one generation later, at the end of the Second World War, that social welfare programmes started to have a major impact on the distribution of goods and on the living standard of people in general, and therefore made it advantageous to be a citizen of a developed welfare states, as discussed in our previous chapter. The reason was of course that these states now had something to protect from foreign immigration. But there had been early indications that welfare programmes would lead to this kind of demands from domestic interests. Already during the recessions in 1920-21 and 1929-31, most European countries introduced work and residence permits and strict immigration regulation to protect their labour markets from foreign competition. The extension of political rights made the demarcation between citizens and non-citizens far more important than it had been before, and so did the extension of social rights. The ideology equating membership of a state with membership of a nation has encouraged states to emphasise what is common to the whole of the people, in an attempt to build a nation, if no nation already existed. But although the development of democracy and the nation state may have been parallel in time, they were not the result of the same political ideas, interests and alliances. The protagonists of democracy were often the antagonists of nationalism. We may recall Marx's ideas that the proletariat did not have patriotic feelings toward any country and that workers in all countries should unite. Socialism was in favour of democracy but against the nation. But in practice socialists 59

also found that they had national interests to defend, for instance if foreign workers were used as strike-breakers in order to hinder them from organising trade unions or raising their wages, or at the outbreak of the First World War, when they were called on to defend their countries. Nationalism on the other hand went hand in hand with protection of domestic economic interests in agriculture, commerce and industry. Nationalism represented high culture, literature, art, science and education, and the development of and care for the language of the nation. History, a common origin and the great memories of the country were all mobilised in support of the national idea, while ideas and perhaps utopias of the future good society were more often part of the democratic creed. The Origins of Nationalism In the first half of the 19th century, there were only two European great powers that were nation states - France and Great Britain - as well as a number of small nation states, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. In the end of the same century, Italy and Germany had joined the other great nation states in Europe, and the peace treaties of 1919 and 1920 gave rise to a number of new European nation states formed in what had up to then been parts of Russia and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire as well as in the Balkans and the Middle-East. Why did nationalism start to become a strong social and political force during the 19th century? Why not earlier or later? There are several sometimes conflicting answers given in a growing literature that can help us, but we shall have to be selective, looking first of all for factors that can help us understand the relationship between nationalism and modern citizenship. The British sociologist Ernest Gellner has in his book "Nations and Nationalism" (1983) mainly discussed the 19th century, the industrial revolution and the introduction of 60

a modern school system with a general education programme, and we shall use his inspiring work for our discussion here. But we shall first quote another British author, Benedict Anderson, who in his book, "Imagined Societies, Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism", has gone further back in history, first of all to the 16th century, when the new art of printing led to the creation of several national "printlanguages". 2 A common assumption for Anderson and Gellner as well as for many other social scientists, is the view that nationalism is an artifact, created by men under certain conditions. The opposite idea is thereby rejected, namely the idea, probably fundamental to all national ideologies, that there have always existed, since history began, peoples or nations and that these peoples, often themselves unaware of their nationality, can be made self-conscious by mobilization. Anderson agrees with Gellner that "Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist." But Anderson is critical of Gellner, for his formulations seem to imply that nationalism is by intention fabricated. Languages, cultures, peoples with different origin and history actually exist, and all these elements whereof nations are built, are to be found everywhere in the world. According to Anderson, nationalism is a style of imagining a political community. "In fact, all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined. Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity /genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined."3 The strength of nationalism lies, according to Anderson, in its capacity to answer existential questions about life and death, about human endeavours and human sufferings. He writes that nationalism is not only one political ideology among 2. Anderson, B, 1983. 3. Anderson, B, 1983, p 15; Gellner, E, 1964, Thought and Change, p 169 (emphasis added by Anderson). 61

others, but in our secularised world something more, a kind of replacement for the great religions that up to now have offered continuity, identity and meaning. Several other ideologies have been compared to religions, communism is one of these, and Anderson's parallel between nationalism and religion may be too vague to be convincing. But the strong emotional element, which is inherent in nationalism, is well brought out in this comparison. The strength of nationalism is its imaginative power, rather than its logical theory. There are many definitions both of nationalism and of nation, and almost any group of people can be termed a national group. But if the rational formula is weak and the theory inconsistent, there is something else of great importance. Nationalism is often a strong political force because of its character of a myth, and it gives to every member of the nation an opportunity to identify with the larger unit, with a people and its history and language, or perhaps with a subordinated and oppressed minority. We have already made reference to religious wars during the 17th century, and we may perhaps compare them to nationalistic wars of our century. By the same token, we should again recall that since the Reformation, adherence to the dynasty's religion has been the absolute requirement for citizenship or membership of many states in Europe. In this century, this requirement may sometimes be said to be replaced by another, namely identification with the nation. In the 16th century when Protestants translated the Bible into English, German, Swedish etc. and when they started to preach in the vernacular instead of in Latin, they broke with the international religious community of the Catholic Church and gave rise to national churches. This became the basis of a new nationalism, especially since it promoted the development of national languages. The art of printing, that helped to quickly spread the new religious messages, also led in the long run to the standardisation of languages for the major language 62

areas (English, Spanish, German etc.), and gave a certain fixed form to these languages that made them more stable over time. When dialects were incorporated or submerged by the great print-languages, a foundation was laid for modern nationalism. But all this happened long before the wave of nationalism swept over Europe in the beginning of the 19th century. Why did it not come much earlier, given this foundation already 200 to 300 years before? Some answers may be found in our previous discussion of feudal political organisation with traditional and divine dynasties at the top. Traditional ideas about society and politics prevailed long after the publications of Bodin, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu and Rousseau, and the ideas of the Enlightenment were as we know, strongly resisted even after the French Revolution. But perhaps more important was the impact of the simultaneous transition from an agrarian to an industrialised society. The Industrial Revolution and General Education According to Ernest Gellner's "Nation and Nationalism", it is the relationship between culture and polity that we must study, if we want to understand why nationalism has become a strong movement in industrial societies but failed to do so in agrarian ones. Figure 2, reproduced from Gellner, illustrates both the social structures and cultural boundaries of agrarian societies. The three top layers represent: first ruling classes of military and administrative professions, or in Europe often the nobility, second the clergy and third a class of tradesmen and businessmen, the burghers. The fourth, major and lower part of the rectangle is divided by vertical lines, showing that the fourth estate, the peasants, is made up of insulated agricultural communities, tied to a local, largely self-sufficient economy. "The whole system favours horizontal lines of cultural cleavages," writes Gellner, "and it may invent and 63

reinforce them, when they are absent." The ruling classes emphasise cultural differentiation in their own interests, and they have no wish to promote cultural homogeneity among the regionally divided peasants. As a further illustration to Gellner's model, we could add that both the nobility and clergy were literate and educated people, often with a knowledge of foreign languages and Latin. And among the burghers, several had travelled in other countries to get their training and many were interested in international trade. Their outlook tended to be international, as they tended to have more in common with their counterparts in other countries than with compatriots at other social levels.

Figure 2

General form of the social structure of agrarian societies R"'"'~~"'~~"'"'~~~-

stratified, horizontally segregated layers of mifitary, administrative, clerical and sometimes commercial ruling class

laterally Insulated communities of agricultural producers


Gellner's conclusion is that the local communities in the agricultural society were sub-national in scale, while the ruling estates were more than national. "Almost everything in it (this society) militates against the definition of political units in terms of cultural boundaries." In such a period, nationalism could not find general acceptance. 4 The change came with industrialisation: the new division of labour that was now required made old social structures and cultural boundaries obsolete. There were many more cultures and languages and therefore many more latent nationalities than there was room for, and a selection of winning nationalities took place in the transition period from agrarian to industrial societies. Previous cultural diversity along the lines of social stratification within a country, now tended to be replaced by homogeneous high cultures. There had been less specialization and differentiation in the labour market of agrarian societies, but nevertheless, in industrial societies the major part of schooling and training of young people was general and not specialized. The same basic education was offered to almost everyone up to a relatively high age, while additional skills were quickly learned at the end of the training period or on the job as "experience". The reason for this is that the economy of the industrial society depended on mobile and exchangeable individuals, able to communicate in a standardized way. This in turn presupposed a fairly monolithic educational system. "Universal literacy and a high level of numerical, technical and general sophistication are among its functional prerequisites. Its members are and must be mobile, and ready to shift from one activity to another ..." The culture of industrial society is school-transmitted and not folk-transmitted, says Gellner, and a man is loyal not to a king, a land or a faith, but to the culture into which he has been socialized. Only a state can be strong and rich enough to 4. Gellner, E, 1983, pp 11 and 16. 65

organize, pay and control such an educational system, including all its essential parts from the first grades in school and up to the final courses for a doctorate. For this reason a state must also be of a certain size, big enough to carry this burden. If it cannot pay these costs, it will have to be parasitic on some other state's educational system. This is according to Gellner, "why state and culture must now be linked". 5 Gellner argues that modern nations have been shaped in schools, where shared national languages are taught and developed. But he emphasises that it is not nationalism that brings about a homogeneous culture, but the other way round: "it is rather that a homogeneity imposed by objective, inescapable imperatives eventually appears on the surface in the form of nationalism".6 Nations are neither given from the beginning in the psyche of human beings, nor the result of political ideas, promoted by politicians, parties and interests. They are inherent in social and economic conditions existing in industrial society, in which only the state can manage to control the socialization of new generations into a nation. Of course, this does not exclude the fact that political actions have helped promote the success of one language or culture at the cost of some other. Even if the emergence of nationalism might have been predicted on the basis of an objective need of cultural homogeneity, such a forecast might perhaps not have been able to tell which particular nationalism would be most successful. During this historic process only a few hundred out of several thousand possible candidates were elevated to the rank of a nation state's official language and culture. Gellner suggests that the uneven rate and timing of industrialisation, placing some countries ahead of others in economic development, may explain the outcome of this selection process. Several other factors - political, cultural and linguistic - are involved, however, and modern history is filled of often very painful memories of this period of transition. 5. Ibid, pp 35 ff, 38. 6. Ibid, p 39. 66

Nationalism and Citizenship

According to a popular view, supported and spread by nationalists, humanity has always been divided into nations, each with a special blend of different religions, cultures or languages, and each of these nations possess its own peculiar character, defined by its place in history and geography. Anderson and Gellner and many others demonstrate that this popular view is a myth. Nations are not natural, but artifacts, created during the last few centuries and under specific conditions. There are problems involved with this argument, however. As these authors point out, nationalism is not a sociological theory, but rather a political ideology or a set of ideas with strong political power. When Gellner says that nationalism engenders nations, he is of course right that the political organisation of nation states has been based on various religious, cultural and linguistic elements, available for this task. And during this nation building, the history of the nation has been rewritten, the language codified, standardised, perhaps purified or in other way developed. In this sense, nations have been formed or built, and this was done by architects and building-workers who were women and men, inspired by the ideas of nationalism. In other words, right from the start of this nation building, the interplay between ideas and men is - as it usually is in this kind of analysis - extremely difficult or impossible to discern. Gellner's point of vantage may be said to be too elevated. He brilliantly demonstrates the main determinants of the process, but he does not get involved in the process itself. He can tell us that modern nation states could be built only when Industrialism had opened the way for nationalism. But this is not enough, if we want to analyse fully the interplay between political ideas and political actors, or between nationalism and nations.? 7. Smith, AD, 1983, Theories of Nationalism, pp 109 ff and 142 ff. 67

Citizenship of a nation state differs greatly from that of all previous states. When those who previously were a king's subjects became citizens of a nation state, they should preferably also be members of the nation. They should meet at least some of the many criteria, used to decide who was and who was not a member: history, decent, appearance, dress, behaviour, mother-tongue, education, religion etc. Since the objective was a state in which everyone belonged to one and the same nation, suitable combinations of criteria had to be utilised in each single state. Often a certain degree of assimilation, and a reasonable command of the language plus formal citizenship was considered to be indication enough for the acceptance of an individual applicant's national identification. From the individual's point of view, it became imperative in a nation state to be in possession of both certain national traits and formal citizenship. During the 19th century in Europe, the industrial revolution via nationalism gave new significance to citizenship. But as we have noticed already, other factors were also involved in this development. The dominant form of government was no longer the genuine and traditional monarchy, but a constitutional monarchy in which demands were increasingly made for more democracy. A traditional personal allegiance to the king had been replaced by an abstract loyalty to the nation and the state. The rules according to which citizenship was obtained and tossed, and according to which rights and duties were distributed, were spelled out in detail. This gives a background to the enactment of citizenship legislation in Europe during the 19th century. A period with new economic conditions and with nationalistic and democratic ideas needed new forms of political organisation. As secularisation spread in Europe, the old requirements that all subjects should belong to the same religion were no longer maintained. Instead there were new requirements that citizens should belong to the nation, which meant that they should have a command of the official language, and sometimes also have a knowledge of the country's history and constitution. 68

PART 2 National Identity and Dual Citizenship



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Citizenship In Europe Today

In the next three chapters we shall discuss citizenship and naturalisation in present-day Europe. We shall in this chapter compare legislation and its implementation in practice, and discuss the ideology or basic theory of the relation between state and individual, that can be discerned to underlie this legislation. The following chapter then presents some data about the propensity for immigrants to change or rather not to change their original citizenship. Results from some studies are presented. Finally, in the third chapter of this second part of the book, we shall attempt to evaluate dual citizenship. We thus move directly to the third gate, barring the entrance to an immigration state, the gate a foreign citizens must pass through to get the status of a full citizen. Later in this book, we shall return to the path leading up to this third gate, in order to discuss the political rights and the political participation of denizens. We choose to arrange our discussion in this order, because an acquisition of full citizenship is the traditional or "normal" way to obtain political rights, while the granting of political rights to denizens is a new form, breaking previous traditions, in a situation, in which the flow through the third gate is slow. Comparing European countries, it is easy to see that the principles applied to determine the acquisition and loss of 71

citizenship are very different and sometimes even contradictory. Most people obtain their citizenship at birth, but an increasing number acquire another citizenship or even an additional one later in life. They apply as adults for naturalisation, for which each country has its own set of specified requirements. For the attribution of citizenship at birth, there are two major principles, applied in various combinations in most countries. Attribution at Birth

A number of states (mainly Anglo-Saxon and Latin-American) have traditionally granted citizenship to all individuals born within the state's territory (jus soli), irrespective of the citizenship of the baby's parents (jus sanguinis). Other states (including most West and North European states) grant citizenship mainly according to "jus sanguinis", and until recently a child acquired the father's or, when born out of wedlock, the mother's citizenship. In citizenship legislation, passed since about 1970, children inherit their father's and their mother's citizenship on equal conditions. 1 A historic note might be added here with regard to the two general principles, the territorial "jus soli" and the biological "jus sanguinis". It has been suggested that the ']us soli" can be traced back to a settled society in which land and estate were basic units, while "jus sanguinis" springs from nomadic societies, in which ancestry, family, kinship and tribe were fundamental. 2 John Armstrong, who has written extensively about the early history of national identity under Islam and Christianity has developed this idea, and also shown that after a successful 1. Kamman, K, 1984, Probleme mehrfacher Staatsangehorigkeit; Hammar, T, 1983, The Naturalisation of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and Questions of Dual Nationality, Council of Europe, Strasbourg. 2. Armstrong, J A, 1982, Nations before Nationalism, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, pp 14 ff. 72

conquest of land, nomadic myths of ancestry were soon combined with territorial identification. He also argues that administrative territories created by Roman Emperors or Christian Popes often remained objects of ethnic identification long after the end of the political regime that had once established them. Most states today apply a mixture of these two principles, and the particular mixture, adopted by a given country, depends not only on history and tradition but also and to a large extent on national interests. Thus, for instance countries with a large amount of emigration often prefer "jus sanguinis". They are often very interested in keeping close contacts with their citizens abroad, and therefore tend to accept that emigrants keep their citizenship and transfer it to their children. This is true of old emigration countries like Germany and the Scandinavian countries, and now applies to new ones like Spain, Portugal, and Italy. On the other hand, traditional immigration countries, like the USA, Canada and Australia, prefer that permanent immigrants become citizens of the new country without unnecessary delay. Children born on their territory should therefore automatically become citizens according to the "jus soli".3 Countries with temporary labour immigration or "guestworkers" do not want immigrants ~o stay permanently, and therefore do not encourage them to change citizenship. The "jus sanguinis" may work in the interest of a "guest-worker" country, by shutting out the second generation of immigrant children born in the host country. It must be added, however, that the national interests of emigration and of immigration countries, like those given as examples here, are relatively new, and they only tend to strengthen or weaken the much older general principles for the attribution of citizenship. A child born in the territory of the USA or Canada is thus acknowledged as a citizen without any further condition, while 3. Hammar, T, 1983. 73

a child born for instance in the Federal Republic of Germany or in one of the Scandinavian countries is not, for these latter countries adhere to the "jus sanguinis". By contrast, a child whose father or mother is a citizen of the USA or Canada, but who was born outside these states, is not automatically attributed citizenship. Such a child will have no great difficulty in acquiring citizenship, however, by way of registration in the USA or Canada. In the Federal Republic of Germany and in Scandinavia on the other hand, a child in the corresponding situation is attributed unconditional citizenship as long as one of the parents or both are citizens. In Britain and in France the situation is more complex, as citizenship legislation here also reflects these countries' colonial legacy. "Jus soli" has traditionally been the main principle in Britain, and all persons born not only in the United Kingdom but previously also in its Colonies and in the Commonwealth became British subjects by attribution. According to the Nationality Act of 1981, however, only those born in the territory of the United Kingdom become British citizens, and there is a further restriction, for it is also required that at least one of the parents is a lawful resident, who has settled in the United Kingdom. 4 France may also be cited as a further illustration of how the general principles are combined. The main principle is here "jus sanguinis", and children born abroad of parents who are French citizens are recognized as citizens. However, children born in France of parents who are themselves not French citizens but who were born in France, are also attributed French citizenship. In other words, the third generation acquire citizenship without further ado. This has great practical implications for persons of Algerian descent, for "born in France" means born in territory considered to be France at the time of birth, and this includes those born in Algeria before its independence in 1962. 4. Brubaker, R, 1989b; Miles, R, 1989.


Of great significance and a matter of political debate in the 1980s is another French stipulation by which the second generation (i.e. persons born in France whose parents are foreign citizens) automatically acquire French citizenship at majority, if they have been residents of France during the previous five years. Exceptions are only made for those sentenced to imprisonment and those who directly decline Ftench citizenship. While several other countries that apply ']us sanguinis" offer persons born in the territory easy access to citizenship upon individual application, France goes the opposite way, making French citizens of all those who do not expressly refuse. The outcome is of course that a high proportion of the second generation is naturalised in France.5 Adult Acquisition

All countries make open naturalisation and other ways of acquiring citizenship to persons who are not citizens by birth. But the conditions vary, and while some countries encourage naturalisation (as for example Canada and Sweden), others openly discourage foreign residents from applying (the Federal Republic of Germany is one example of this). In restrictive countries, the rate of naturalisation is comparatively low, and each case is given careful consideration, whereas in more liberal countries naturalisation is facilitated and made a routine matter. However, as the process is initiated everywhere by the free application of those eligible, only a part of all those who formally qualify are in fact naturalised, and among those who are naturalised, many are more than qualified: for instance their period of residence may be 20 years instead of the stipulated 5 or 10. Although conditions vary, they serve the same general purpose: to guarantee that the candidates are sufficiently attached to the country. The two principles mentioned here, 5. Costa-Lascoux, J, 1988, Integration et nationalite, in Withol de Wenden, C, La citoyennete, pp 92 ff.


'jus soli" and 'jus sanguinis", are therefore supplemented by a third, a 'jus domicili", according to which citizenship may be granted to persons with real or effective residence in the state's territory. Domicile or effective residence is not defined in the same way, but it is employed everywhere to summarize several indicators of attachment to the country. And for social benefits, in legal cases etc, domicile is often of significance. For instance, in some legal cases concerning dual nationality, courts attach vital importance to the effective residence of a person, when deciding what citizenship should be regarded as dominant. In most countries the first requirement for naturalisation is therefore a certain period of effective residence, from a low of two to three years and up to a high of ten to twelve years. Only Israel has no residential condition for Jewish immigrants, who because of their descent and their religion are recognized as citizens right from their arrival. In several other states, people who belong to the same ethnic group or speak the same language are accorded the privilege of a quick and easy naturalisation. Other conditions for naturalisation include language competence, knowledge of the country's history and constitution, loyalty to the political ideology of the state and to the state itself, and an intention to stay permanently in the country. A good moral character is also required and is often defined as the absence of criminal convictions. A person who meets all these requirements may nevertheless have his application rejected, however, for in most countries naturalisation is decided upon by an administrative authority with a wide range of discretionary power. But there are also states like the USA and Canada, where naturalisation is granted by a judicial decision and where an applicant has a right to naturalisation on condition that the legal requirements are met.6 6. Brubaker, R, 1989. The naturalisalion rate for Canada, calculated as in table 3, is high, about 7.5%.


Table 3

Acquisition of citizenship in 1987 by country and in relation to the size of the foreign population

Country Belgium* Denmark FRG France* Netherlands Sweden Switzerland * USA* UK

Foreign Population

Acquisition of Citizenship

900 000 120 000 4 650 000 3 750 000 590 000 400 000 980 000 7 000 000

2900 3 600 14 000 125 000 19 000 20000 12 000 227 000 65 000

Percent 0.3% 3.0% 0.3% 3.3% 3.2% 5.0% 1.2% 3.0%

* Data from 1986. Source: OECD, SOPEMI 1987 plus answers to Council of Europe questionnaire. For the USA: an estimation of foreign population in North D (1985), The Long Gray Welcome. For France: Costa-Lascoux (1988). Note: The figures in this table are not fully comparable. The reported acquisition of citizenship is supposed to be all-inclusive, but in some countries, no reporting is made of changes because of marriage or adoption. Ethnic Germans who have been recognized as citizens of the FRG (Anspruchseinbiirgerung) are excluded here. - The annual percentage of naturalised citizens is calculated in relation to the total legal foreign population, and not - as would have been more appropriate - to the subpopulation that fulfils the residence requirement.

As is apparent even from such a cursory survey as this,

naturalisation varies greatly from country to country with regard to policy intentions and legal instruments as well as to application of these in practice. It is difficult to compile comparative statistics, because naturalisation and other ways of acquiring citizenship are not available to the same groups of people in all countries, and the legal instruments do not fully correspond to each other. Nevertheless, in table 3, an attempt is made to give an idea of the rate of annual naturalisation as a percentage of the foreign populations in some European and North American states in 1980. 77

Comparison of Some Countries' Citizenship Policy To account for a particular country's position, we have to look for factors common to both immigration and naturalisation policies. During the past few decades, immigration to Britain, France and the Federal Republic of Germany has differed greatly because of the varying colonial experience, geographic position, and economic development of these countries since the Second World War.? Morover, since citizenship is interpreted as membership not only of the state, but often also of the nation, in any explanation of this kind, great significance must be attached to the current relationship between the nation and the state, and especially whether this relationship is a political issue, and whether core interests of the nation are perceived to be threatened by immigration and naturalisation. 8 A third and final point is related to the second. Rogers Brubaker asserts that a country's citizenship policy may be said to emerge out of a certain historically defined relationship between nation and state. In some countries, and France and Sweden may serve as example of this, the nationstate developed very early and there was a "natural" congruence between the two for several centuries. This situation gave rise later to a belief that the relationship was relatively unproblematic, that permanent immigration did not constitute a challenge to national interests, and that naturalisation of foreign citizens was a means by which the congruence between nation and state could be maintained.9 In other countries, and the Federal Republic of Germany may again be an example, the state was created very late in history 7. For a fuller treatment of this point see Hammar, T, European Immigration Policy, pp 249-262. 8. Ibid, pp 261 f. 9. Brubaker, R, 1989. 78

and only after the emergence of strong nationalistic movements. The German culture and language preceded the German state, and so did the idea of a German Yolk or nation. According to Brubaker, this historic order of state and nation may have enduring effects on the state's citizenship policies. In the German case, it may contribute to the unwillingness to naturalise foreign citizens who are not of German descent, especially those who cannot easily be assimilated into the nation. One must not carry this too far, however, for in many other countries, not least in France, the expected ability to assimilate is also used as an important criterion in evaluating applicants for naturalisation. For both France and Britain the relationship between state and nation has become more complex because of the Commonwealths that these two states created. Citizens of colonies, of departments overseas, or of Commonwealth member states were often considered to be citizens of the "mother country". Algeria was for instance a French oversea department and Algerians were French citizens up to the declaration of independence in 1962. Citizens of the British colonies and of the British Commonwealth were British subjects. Consequently Britain allowed free immigration of British subjects from all parts of this Commonwealth, and this lasted till the Immigration Act of 1971 required that British subjects who were not citizens of the United Kingdom, nor so called "patrials" with close connection with the United Kingdom should have entry certificates or visas. In other words, up to the Nationality Act of 1981, Colonial and Commonwealth citizens were also British subjects, although during the last ten years not allowed free immigration. The new legislation normalized the situation by redefining and limiting citizenship to members of the state, the United Kingdom. Acquisition of British citizenship by way of naturalisation was previously mainly of importance to alien residents in Britain, while it was enough for those resident who were British 79

subjects and Irish citizens just to register as British citizens. The Act of 1981 has not changed this, but registration is becoming relatively less frequent as a long period of time has now gone, since strict control brought about a reduction of immigration. For the Irish, however, immigration continues to be free and as before, without registration Irish residents in Britain enjoy the same treatment as if they were citizens. Classification according to Form of Government

Up to this point, we have dealt with the attribution and acquisition of citizenship, but not with its loss. This latter aspect becomes more pertinent now when we approach the third kind of classification of citizenship policy, a classification based on the kind of government that prevails in the state. Expatriation and loss of citizenship was once a form of punishment used in many states, but in most modern legislation this kind of sanction has been abolished. With few exceptions, citizenship is now lost only as a result of the voluntary acquisition of another, or correspondingly as a result of a free choice between the citizenship of two countries. A number of states still employ an institute of de-naturalisation, however. In some states, a citizen can be deprived of his status as citizen through the decision, usually of some high-ranking political authority, on such grounds as high treason, heresy or some similar very severe offense against the state or the state religion. In socialist states in Eastern Europe, the USSR and Poland for instance, this instrument has been used on the departure of political dissenters and Jews who have been allowed or invited to leave the country. As a result, these expatriated emigrants are also denied the right to return in the future. Their departure is made final. 10 10. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, art 15:2 only forbids arbitrary expatriation: "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality." Dowrick, F E, ed, 1979, Human Rights Problems, perspectives and texts. Saxon House, Durham, p 141. 80

A related problem, which we will return to when discussing dual citizenship, is that many states do not accept renunciations of citizenship. According to what might be called a traditional and mercantilistic perspective, a person born and educated in a state constitutes a valuable resource which cannot be allowed to leave without compensation. Accordingly, those who want to be free from their citizenship are sometimes asked to pay their own educational costs, which can amount to a considerable sum. In other states, no such payments are asked for, but the attitude is similar: once a citizen by birth, you will always remain a citizen because citizenship is part of your national and religious identity. In some modern totalitarian states, it may be very difficult for an individual to renounce his citizenship. Emigration may even be forbidden, in contradiction of article 13:2 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says that "everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country". 11 In such countries emigration and the renunciation of citizenship are usually conceived of as an action of political protest. Modern democratic states, on the other hand, maintain that the basic rights of individuals and of minority groups shall be protected against violation from the majority. Even if citizenship is mandatory, individuals have a right to leave the country and to renounce their citizenship when they have obtained another one. The only situation that cannot be tolerated is statelessness as a consequence of renunciation of citizenship. But of course, there is no corresponding right to immigration for non-citizens. The human right to emigrate is a one-way street, a right to fly away, but not a right to land anywhere. And as we have seen, all states do not respect this right of emigration. The right to apply for and to renounce a citizenship is not elevated to the rank of a human right, but 11. Ibid, p 141.


regulated in other international conventions and by each state in its domestic legislation. 12 In the present period some crucial differences in the state's citizenship legislation can thus be traced back to the form of government. In traditional authoritarian states, individual subjects to the king were, as we have seen, precious resources at his disposal. Especially the mercantilistic theories of the 17th and 18th centuries paid great attention to the size and composition of the population. Emigration meant a loss to the state. Since the state at the same time was the temporal protector of the true religion - supervising education and morals, the church and religious life - immigration and naturalisation had to be controlled also for this reason. Immigrants who professed the state's religion were admitted, while religious dissenters were encouraged to emigrate or were even exiled. In the late 1980s there can still be found examples of this kind of traditional and authoritarian state in several parts of the world, and there also exist theocracies, in which one religion is of fundamental importance both to the state itself and to its citizenship policy. Several states where Islamic fundamentalism prevails belong to this category. It may be interesting to note that similar ideas and regulations were dominant in Western Europe in the 18th and first half of the 19th century, and that citizenship has become secularized there only during the last 100 to 150 years. It is perhaps most astonishing that we already have difficulty in conceiving the traditional way of merging religion and government, and subsequently of understanding what citizenship means in that context - why for instance a renunciation of citizenship is regarded in some states as a sacrilege. Some modern totalitarian states may be said to have replaced religion with a political ideology, and in the same way perceive 12. European Convention on reduction of cases of multiple nationality and military obligations in cases of multiple nationality 1%3.


dissenters and opponents as heretics. In the interest of the collectivity or the state, they may sometimes disregard the interests of its individual citizens in a way similar to what was the case in traditional authoritarian states, and the totalitarian state is of course much more effective in this than any of its predecessors. But these totalitarian states have adopted modern concepts of citizenship, just as they have accepted the democratic institutions of general suffrage and a declaration of citizen's rights. It is the democratic process of forming political opinions, of political information, freedom of debate and association, freedom of producing political alternatives that is limited or strictly controlled and directed. In this situation, the exit option has sometimes appeared as a threatening and disloyal criticism that the state could not tolerate. Emigration has therefore been controlled or forbidden, and an application to be free from one's citizenship has often been considered an act of treason. But if a policy of perestroika would change this and in the 1990s bring about more freedom to emigrate from the USSR and Eastern Europe, the receiving countries in the West would probably be much less willing to allow immigration.



Propensity to Apply for Naturalisation

In the autumn of 1988, Prime Minister Bob Hawke proclaimed a "Year of Citizenship" in Australia, hoping to encourage some of those about one million settled immigrants entitled to citizenship who had not bothered to apply for it to do so. Why had they not applied? Was there too little encouragement, or no practical incentives? Or did they not want to change citizenship because of loyalty to other countries? Not only in Australia, but also in Europe and America the same or similar questions are asked about denizens' motivation or lack of motivation to ask for naturalisation. In the Federal Republic of Germany, repeated surveys have shown that former "guest-workers", even if they have long since settled for good, do not plan to apply for naturalisation. Their answers to the questionnaires are officially interpreted as evidence of an intention to return some time in the future to their country of origin and also of an intention to preserve their original national identity. The rate of naturalisation is said to be low, not only because of a restrictive naturalisation policy, but also because of a low propensity to naturalise within the German denizen population. 84

To date, very few sociological studies of naturalisation have been made, and those that have, are neither penetrating nor comprehensive. Sometimes it is taken more or less for granted that naturalisation will take place as soon as the legal requirements and especially the residence requirements have been met. Sometimes it is assumed instead that naturalisation will be postponed till a day when a major shift in a person's national identification has already occurred. The complexity of the many factors which are involved in individual decisions to apply for naturalisation is seldom analysed. The great differentiation between individual immigrants in one and the same state does not seem to have been studied, nor has the differentiation between the contexts shaped by the specific sending and receiving states. Since a full analysis has not been carried out, we will first briefly summarize some available studies and then make an attempt to present and to organize factors pertinent to an understanding of individual denizens' propensity to naturalise.

Low Interest in the Federal Republic of Germany The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Bonn has made two large surveys representative of foreign citizens in the Federal Republic, one in 1980 and one in 1985. Among the many questions about education, work, housing and income, social relations and leisure time activities, questions were also asked about plans for the future, including plans to return or to stay on, and plans to ask for naturalisation. Both in 1980 and in 1985, only about 6 per cent said that they intended to ask for German citizenship, while almost 80 per cent denied any such intention. The remaining 15 per cent were undecided (table 4). 1 1. Konig, P, Schultze, G, und Wessel, R, 1986, Situation der auslandischen Arbeitnehmer und ihrer Familicnangehorigen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Rcprasentativuntcrsuchung '85 - Forschungsinstitut der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Der Bundcsministcr ftir Arbcit und Sozialordnung. Bonn.


The results may be astonishing, but they are no doubt representative. More than 6,000 persons from the six major nationality groups have been interviewed in all regions of the Federal Republic, and the results are with small variations the same in these six groups. The low interest in naturalisation is astonishing first of all because by 1980 six years had passed since the recrutiment of immigrants had ceased - eleven years by 1985. Thus in 1980, more than 30 per cent and in 1985 more than 70 per cent of the foreign population had spent at least 10 years in the Federal Republic of Germany. Many denizens met the formal residence requirement of ten years, but few of those eligible wanted to ask for naturalisation. Table 4

Intention to ask for German citizenship in 1985 (in percent) Intention to naturalise

Citizens of


Turkey Yugoslavia Italy Greece Spain Portugal

7.5 6.9 4.4 4.1 3.4 4.3





14.3 21.9 10.9 15.5 9.6 12.5

78.2 71.2 84.7 80.3 87.0 83.2

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0




Don't know

The reason for this was not that they had any immediate or definite plans to return to their countries of origin. Almost five out of six said in the interviews that they planned to stay several years in the Federal Republic. Only 17 per cent intended to return, and most of those who gave this answer had only vague plans: many said that they would return some time in the future, when economic conditions had improved etc. The conclusion reached by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung 86

was therefore that the declared unspecified intention to return, when controlled, was found to be an illusion. The large majority of the foreign population in the Federal Republic must be expected to stay on for good. In this perspective the low interest in naturalisation deserves an explanation. In the survey of 1985, those who said they did not want to apply for naturalisation were asked why. The most common answer (almost 40 per cent of all answers given) was that they wanted to remain citizens of their native country ("Will Staatsangehoriger des Heimatlandes bleiben"). Only 24 per cent of the answers referred to plans to return to this country in the future. Fourteen per cent said that they refrained from naturalisation because they would be obliged to give up their present citizenship if they acquired German citizenship. Seven per cent said that they abstained because they disliked the German way of living. It is of course always very difficult or even impossible for a person to sum up accurately the reasons why he acts or does not act in a certain way. The answers must be read with great caution, but if this is done, they may give us some guidance. 2 The requirements for naturalisation are, as we have seen, relatively strict in the Federal Republic of Germany. The residence period is ten years. Knowledge of the German language and German society is required, as well as good behaviour and satisfactory means of support. Naturalisation is not granted as a right, however: it is the outcome of a discretionary decision taken by German authorities in the interest of the Federal Republic of Germany. The cost of naturalisation is high, about 75% of a monthly salary, from a minimum of 100 to a maximum of 5,000 DMark. 2. A comparable survey was made in 1984 by another German research group, the MARPLAN. Yugoslavs, Turks and Greeks were asked which were the main obstacles to naturalisation. Also here most answers pointed to the loss of rights in the country of origin, and loss of contacts with family members staying there. But many also mentioned the embarrassing administrative naturalisation procedure in the Federal Republic, and the high naturalisation fees. Marplan Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, 1984, Gastarbeiter in Deutschland, Bonn.


Against this background it is clear that naturalisation in Germany is not just a formality to be gone through. Instead it presupposes a profound transformation of the applicant, that his ties to the old country are broken and that he intends to stay the rest of his life in the Federal Republic. In submitting his application for naturalisation, he is accepting to be scrutinised as to whether his acquisition of German language and culture is sufficient and whether it is in the state's interest to accept him as a new German. It is against this background that we shall read the quoted answers given to the two representative surveys from Germany. These answers do not only reflect the applicant's intentions, but also the host country's welcome, i.e. the restrictive German naturlisation policy. In other words, many more would probably show an interest in naturalisation, if the policy were more liberal, encouraging and inviting instead of being so restrictive. Those interviewed who say that they want to remain citizens of their native country, may say so both because they want to preserve their language and culture and because they have no or very little hope of a favourable answer to an application for naturalisation. The German word "Heimatland" (literally home country) may tell the interviewed (even if they are domiciled denizens) that they are seen as foreigners with their "homes" not in the Federal Republic but in the country they came from. When many say that they abstain because they do not want to renounce their old citizenship, this may, however, also indicate that if dual citizenship were tolerated, they would be interested in naturalisation. But the present naturalisation ideology, in which nationality and national identification are fundamental elements of German citizenship, seems to hinder a broader acceptance of dual citizenship.3 It would be interesting to compare the results of these surveys in the Federal Republic with parallel surveys in France, where 3. Compare also Ley, K and Agustoni, S, 1976. In this study of Italian workers in Ziirich, Switzerland, perceived discrimination was found to be a major obstacle to naturalisation. 88

the number of denizens with long periods of residence is about the same, but where the naturalisation policy is traditionally liberal and the rate of naturalisation much higher. Such studies do not seem to be available, but one study has been made of a sample of French citizens, naturalised in the 1970s. 300 persons who had recently obtained French citizenship were interviewed in order to get information about their motives and their evaluation of the consequences.4 The authors of this report, Jobert and Tallard, emphasised that the motivations given them by the new French citizens were often hard to disentangle: motives were intertwined and mixed, and one and the same person often gave several seemingly incompatible answers to the question why he had naturalised. Many had been naturalised, because they were married to a French citizen. They were from all classes, and nothing indicated that persons with higher social status or higher education were more interested in French citizenship. Some said that they had asked for naturalisation because of their high appreciation of France. They talked about an accomplished integration process and a total break with the country of origin. But in the next moment the same persons could mention a number of advantages of a direct practical nature: French citizenship would for instance mean that they received a passport which facilitated foreign travel, that they could borrow money or get allowances for studies, or that they could hope for promotion in their jobs and pensions when they retired etc. Compassion and loyalty to France was in this way often mixed with an intention to use all those advantages, which might follow from a French citizenship. Indifference also in Australia and the United States Celebrating its Bicentenary in 1988, Australia found that about one million of its residents had not bothered to apply 4. Jobert, A, and Tallard, M, 1979, Les naturalises, pluralite des processus d'insertion dans Ia societe fran~aise, Paris CREDOC. 89

for citizenship. A campaign, called "The Year of Citizenship", was started to encourage qualifying immigrants to naturalise. In preparation of this campaign a public consultant was commissioned to explore the thoughts of Australian residents on the issues of citizenship: in 1987, not less than 900 Australian citizens and 900 non-citizens born overseas were questioned, together with 200 citizens born in Australia. 5 Non-citizens born overseas were asked why they had not become citizens and naturalised citizens were asked about their motives to naturalise. In both questions a number of response alternatives were read to the interviewed persons, who also could add their own explanations. The most common reaction to this question was indifference. More than one out of four non-citizens (28%) said that they did not bother, or saw no reason for naturalisation. The most frequent of the preselected answers was that there were no perceived benefits of naturalisation (21% ), and some added that they were British citizens and felt no need to apply for Australian citizenship. British citizens have by tradition a privileged position in Australia: for instance, after six months' residence they are entitled to vote in Parliamentary elections as well. Furthermore if they do take out Australian citizenship, they are allowed to keep their British passport, while dual citizenship is not accepted for citizens of other countries. It was clear that the problem of a low naturalisation rate and a significant indifference to citizenship was largely due to the great number of Australian residents who were British citizens. One out of six among non-citizens born overseas answered that they had too strong an emotional and social attachment to their country of origin to naturalise, and one out of eight mentioned loss of their original citizenship or loss of rights in their country of origin as their main reason for not applying. When the same question was put to naturalised citizens, the most frequent answers (given by 42%) were correspondingly 5. AGB McNair Report, 1988, to the Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, Canberra (unpublished). 90

that their main reason for naturalising was that they had a strong attachment or commitment to Australia, or that they felt that they had lost their attachment to the country where they were previously citizens. One out of four pointed out that they had their family, their spouse and children etc. in Australia. One of five gave practical reasons: citizenship meant to them a passport, a job or political rights. This study also showed, however, that residents in Australia, both citizens and non-citizens, had rather vague ideas about the practical consequences of Australian citizenship or about which rights and obligations it entailed. In a study of the naturalisation programme in the USA, David S North also dealt briefly with the relatively low rate of naturalisation there. According to the census of 1980, there was a total of 14.1 million foreign born residents of whom 7.1 million were naturalised US citizens. When those not eligible for naturalisation had been deducted and adjustments had been made for some over-representation of persons who had falsely stated in the census that they were citizens, North found that less than two thirds of those qualified had been naturalised, and that in 1980 about 3.5 million aliens were eligible for naturalisation.6 In US naturalisation statistics, the number of persons naturalised in any one year is usually compared to the number of immigrants who entered some time (usually eight years) earlier. No consideration is then given to return-emigration. When only 75,000 Mexicans naturalised during the ten year period 1973-82, compared to a legal immigration of more than 500,000 during the decade eight years earlier (1965-74), we must remember that some Mexican citizens died and others returned to Mexico etc. But still, these figures show that the Mexican rate of naturalisation in the USA is very low, in fact the lowest percentage calculated in this way. Citizens of Hungary and Cuba or of Asian countries are much more likely 6. North, D, 1985, The Long Gray Welcome, A Study of the American Naturalization Program, Washington. 91

to become US citizens than are citizens of the neighbouring countries, Mexico and Canada. Like Australia, both the USA and Canada are traditional immigration countries, welcoming each year considerable numbers of new immigrants. They all encourage naturalisation, but Canada more firmly than the others. Maybe this is why Canada also has more success, at least if success in this respect is measured as a higher rate of naturalisation. Interest in Naturalisation by Citizenship The German surveys have shown a low interest in naturalisation in all the major nationality groups, and official statistics give a similar picture of the actual rate of naturalisation. It is true that this rate is somewhat higher for Italians and Yugoslavs and lowest for Turks, but in general it is very low for all the traditional "guest-worker" nationalities. There is evidence of more variance in France where for instance the actual rate of naturalisations is higher among the Portuguese and Spanish and lower among Algerians and Moroccans.? In 1982, a Swedish Commission on Immigration Policy published a series of figures showing how many of the cohort that immigrated in 1968, who either had left Sweden as emigrants during the following years or had become Swedish citizens. The remainder of this cohort, represented by the space to the right, includes those immigrants of 1968 who had stayed in Sweden as foreign residents or denizens. 8 Sven Alur Reinans, the Swedish expert on international migration statistics who originally produced these figures, has kindly computed new and up-to-date versions, presented here, covering the full period from 1968 to 1986 (figures 3 and 4). 7. Costa-Lascoux, J, 1988, p 102; Report to the Sopemi in 1987 by Heinrich Meyer, German national correspondent. 8. Swedish SOU 1982:49, pp 266 ff (Immigration Policy - The Background, Report by the Commission, Stockholm). 92

Figure 3



Emigration and naturalisation during the next two decades among immigrants to Sweden in 1968

Norwegian Emigrated from Sweden



Hungarian Naturalised Swedish citizens

C }}) Remaining ~~ Sweden :::::::::::as foreign c1t1zens

Two extreme groups have been chosen to illustrate the great variation in the propensity to emigrate and to naturalise between immigrants of different origin. Most Hungarians in Sweden came as refugees in 1956 and later. The cohort of Hungarian immigrants of 1968, used here in our illustration, has tended to settle and few of them have returned or otherwise left Sweden, while a majority acquired Swedish citizenship as soon as they were qualified which they were at that time after seven years of residence. In contrast, most Norwegians have reemigrated from Sweden, and very few have been naturalised. Norway is a neighbouring country, and there are almost no practical advantages in shifting citizenship, apart from the right to vote in national elections. Hungarian refugees may instead have strong reasons to break with the state which they left in protest, and to acquire another citizenship which could give them international protection and new passports, more suitable for international 93

travel. As a result, Hungarian citizens have naturalised quickly and few have remained Hungarian citizens residing in Sweden. The number of Norwegian citizens in Sweden is high, and many have long periods of residence. Most other nationality groups are placed somewhere inbetween these two extremes, the Hungarians and the Norwegians. This is shown in figure 4 in which the proportion of naturalised is reported for immigrants from a few countries. The basis is again the same cohort of those who immigrated to Sweden in 1968. The propensity to naturalise is high among Polish immigrants, but it is below average for the second largest group of migrant workers in Sweden, the Yugoslavs. Immigrants from Finland, the largest group of labour immigrants, are just above average for all aliens.

Figure 4

Proportion (%) of aliens who immigrated in 1968 who have become Swedish citizens 0-19 years after immigration, by citizenship


80~----------------------==============~ 70 60 50 40 30 20



















Years after Immigration

As shown by these illustrations, not only Norwegians and other Scandinavians but also several other foreign citizens abstain from naturalisation. Many prefer to keep their original 94

citizenship even when they have spent more than ten, fifteen or even twenty years in Sweden. A liberal naturalisation policy, low costs and little administrative nuisance certainly encourage naturalisation, but not enough to overcome all ' resistance. Among about 270,000 adult aliens in Sweden in 1986, 50 per cent had more than ten years of residence, while among Nordic citizens and citizens of other European countries the corresponding figure is 70 per cent. Although only five years of residence is required for naturalisation, obviously many prefer not to naturalise. Interviews made in 1983 on behalf of a Swedish Parliamentary Commission on Voting Rights showed a rather general indifference to citizenship and naturalisation among denizens in Sweden. Many of those interviewed explained that they had not yet made up their minds but that as far as they could see Swedish citizenship would probably not change much in their lifes. Social and economic rights were already given to them, even most political rights. At the same time many explained that their resistance to naturalisation was strongly emotional, for naturalisation entailed so great a change in their national identity, both in their own eyes and in the view of their relatives, that they were not willing to take the step. Even among those who were married to a Swedish citizen or who said that they had decided to stay in Sweden for good, many did not plan to ask for citizenship. But of course, interest in naturalisation was lower among those who had less contact with Swedes and among those who planned to return. 9 This small exploratory study also revealed that, for some, naturalisation would mean a loss of rights in their country of origin. As dual citizenship was not tolerated, they would have to renounce their present citizenship, if they voluntarily asked for Swedish citizenship. Would their interest in naturalisation then increase considerably, if dual citizenship were tolerated? 9. Swedish SOU 1984:11 and 12, Rostriitt och medborgarskap (Voting Right and Citizenship), Stockholm, 1984:11, pp 125 ff, and 1984:12, pp 81 ff. 95

In order to get at least a preliminary answer to this question, a small pilot study was made among Finnish denizens in Stockholm. The following hypothetical question was asked: ''There are people who do not want to apply for Swedish citizenship, because if they did, they would lose their Finnish citizenship. If this law were changed and you were entitled to keep also your Finnish citizenship, would you then apply for Swedish citizenship?" As the sample was very small, absolute numbers are given in table 6.

Table 6

Intention among Finnish citizens in Stockholm to apply for Swedish citizenship if dual citizenship were allowed (absolute numbers) As at present when Finnish citizenship is automatically lost

Yes Don't know No Total

If Finnish citizenship were also allowed (dual citizenship)

------------------Don't know No Yes

10 41 65

8 22 22

1 18 16

1 1 27





116 Finnish citizens were asked about their intentions. Only ten answered that they intended to apply for citizenship. 41 were in doubt. When the hypothetical opportunity was then introduced, 52 answered that they would, in such a case, like to obtain Swedish citizenship in addition to their Finnish citizenship. Only 27 or about half of the 65 who had given a clearly negative reply to the first question, maintained this negative attitude. In this limited study we received in other words the expected outcome, that more Finnish citizens would be interested in naturalisation if they did not have to give up their original citizenship. If dual citizenship were allowed, the propensity to naturalise would increase. 96

An Organizing Scheme As this overview of some available studies has shown, there

are numerous factors of significance for denizens' interest in naturalisation and thereby also for a country's rate of naturalisation. Up to now research in this field has mainly been of a legal nature, and no general, comprehensive and comparative socio-political studies have been made. Such studies are highly needed, however, and an increasing number of minor studies may perhaps indicate that a change is coming. In several countries, both the government and research institutions are now becoming aware of the fact that this is a fascinating and difficult problem area as well as one of great significance for the future. An attempt shall be made to summarize the studies we have mentioned here in the form of a simple scheme, enumerating and organizing the factors which ought to be included in studies of denizens' interest in naturalisation. Emigration may be caused by different factors, of which the economic and political ones are the most important, and these background factors largely determine the size and composition of the outflows. In order to explain the behaviour of immigrants in a host country - for instance with regard to an eventual change of citizenship - we need to have a good knowledge of the background and history of their emigration. In this regard the emigration policy of the country of origin may be highly relevant. Most sending countries, but not all, expect or hope that emigrants will return after a shorter or longer, but nonetheless "temporary" stay abroad. In various ways emigration countries offer protection to their citizens in other countries. Financial support may be given in these countries to schools, churches, cultural activities and immigrant associations. The interest of some emigration countries is so strong that some emigrants may feel that they are not only protected but almost controlled by representatives of the sending country. Political refugees are here an 97

exception, as they usually want to cut all ties to the government of the country they have left.

Factors of significance to denizens' propensity to apply for naturalisation: A.

General context: sending and receiving countries 1. Emigration countries: socio-economic, political and other background factors, emigration and citizenship policy 2. Immigration countries: socio-economic, political and other background factors, immigration and citizenship policy


Migrants' plans and ideas about their migration 1. Emigration projects: Reasons for emigration, plans to return etc 2. Immigration project: Plans for the stay in the host country, including its length, plans to integrate, and perhaps stay for good


Perceptions of advantages and disadvantages following from a shift of citizenship 1. In relation to the country of emigration 2. In relation to the country of immigration

3. In relation to a third country


The length of residence in the host country


Availability of dual citizenship


Of importance is furthermore the sending country's citizenship policy, and its conception of what citizenship implies, and what its national unity and nation-building project may require. There are major differences between those countries where citizenship mainly has a symbolic or an ideological meaning, and those where citizenship is given a primarily legal and instrumental if'.terpretation. In the former countries, where citizenship is defined by ethnicity, nationality or religion, a change of citizenship may be regarded as a serious breach of faith, loyalty and obligations. New states, in which national unity may not yet be fully secured, seem to give special emphasis to citizenship and to the close relationship between citizenship and national identity. Countries in which immigration is mainly conceived in terms of permanent settlement often encourage immigrants to plan for the future in the host country and to integrate into the host society. A special integration policy may be developed, and this policy may include a system of cultural pluralism, which allows immigrants to preserve their language and culture in the new environment. An immigration policy of this kind is often combined with a liberal naturalisation policy. In full contrast to this, "guest-worker" immigration goes hand in hand with a restrictive naturalisation policy. Countries which have allowed large immigration but which do not want immigrants to stay permanently, are usually unwilling to naturalise denizens even after long periods of residence. The Federal Republic of Germany as well as Switzerland are examples of this. Not only a host country's immigration policy but also its citizenship policy may have an impact on the immigrants' propensity to apply for naturalisation. The low interest in naturalisation among denizens in the Federal Republic of Germany has been interpreted as an effect of the country's negative attitude towards full integration. But if a host country's integration policy is wanting in generosity, and if immigrants are cut off from essential rights and opportunities, 99

access to full citizenship should be expected to be a very attractive goal, the gate through which it is important to pass in order to achieve an improvement in status and privileges for the individual. By contrast, in an immigration country where almost all rights are also given to non-citizens, the incentives to apply for naturalisation might be expected to vanish. In such a country there may seem to be too little to be gained by shifting citizenship. We have mentioned that the meaning of state, nation and citizenship varies from one country to another, and that in particular the conception of what citizenship and naturalisation means to the state and to the nation plays a role in shaping the country's citizenship policy. We shall add here that the interest of immigrants in applying for naturalisation is influenced by the host country's citizenship policy. In fact countries both discourage and encourage naturalisation. Some countries - we have cited Canada and Australia as examples have used special campaigns and study programmes to increase immigrants' interest in acquiring citizenship. Others achieve the same purpose by keeping the cost of naturalisation low and the procedure simple, even to the point of making the shift more or less automatic. If an applicant is allowed to keep his old citizenship together with the new citizenship - in other words if he is allowed to become a dual citizen - this may also function as a considerable stimulus. An emigrant's personal reasons to emigrate and his intentions for the future as they develop while he is staying abroad may be called his emigration project. Most emigrants consider returning to their country of origin after a certain period of time. This is so for those who have emigrated in order to get a job and a reasonable income, in order to save some money, or to get an education etc. But many political refugees also hope to return once a change in the political situation makes this possible. There are also political refugees who from the beginning are convinced that they will never go back again, 100

and of course there are some among these who in the end do return anyhow. Those who intend to stay permanently are more interested in becoming citizens of the host country than those who see their stay as temporary or who are uncertain of their plans for the future. The latter want to wait and see, and they tend to postpone indefinitely all decisions about naturalisation. In contrast, the earlier and the more decided immigrants make clear to themselves that it is their intention to stay in their new country - in other words the more their immigration project is final - the more they will be inclined to apply for naturalisation. A Cost-Benefit Analysis

To all this we shall add those advantages and disadvantages, practical gains and losses which may follow from a shift in citizenship. These costs and benefits may arise in the country of emigration, or in the country of imlnigration, or in a third country. We cannot here in any way give a full presentation of all imaginable consequences. But such calculations - more or less inclusive - are constantly being made by individuals and groups in all countries, and they deal with all kinds of facts, subjectively deemed to be relevant. Through a comparison of several emigration and immigration countries with regard to these facts, some kind of hierarchy of the citizenships of the world is established. Certain citizenships are considered to be more precious, more advantageous, but also perhaps more inaccessible, than others. A useful passport is for many the most appreciated result of a new citizenship. Some countries' passports seem to be more accepted by many border controls, and naturalisation may for some applicants be a way to prepare for and facilitate international travel. Some political refugees are eager to get a new passport in order to be able to visit the very country they have left as refugees. Their new citizenship will give them 101

some protection even there, especially so if they have been able to be released from their citizenship in that country. Those who become naturalised without having been released from the citizenship of the country they left are usually informed that they do not enjoy diplomatic protection in the other country where they are also citizens. But to some, a visit may be so important - for instance when close relatives are seriously ill - that they are willing to take the risks involved. Another advantage of a new citizenship may be that it opens the host country's borders for relatives and family members, and at least for parents or children, who will be allowed to immigrate with high priority. Citizenship may also be useful for those who want to be reunited with relatives living in a country which does not allow them to emigrate. The host country where they have acquired citizenship may be willing to help them to persuade the other country to allow their relatives to emigrate. But the most direct gains are of course those social, economic and political rights which follow from citizenship. It is true that in many immigration countries denizens have been granted several rights previously only given to citizens, and in some states they enjoy almost full and equal rights, with only a few specific exceptions. But in most states developments in this area have not yet gone that far. Public service is, for instance, often not open to foreign citizens, and in practice the same is true for many other jobs. In addition there are often many other substantial limits to the economic activities of non-citizens which may make it worth their while to apply for naturalisation. Some disadvantages of naturalisation have already been mentioned, even if we have concentrated on the advantages. When we now turn our attention to the drawbacks, we may first think of those denizens who have to renounce their original citizenship when they voluntarily acquire a new one. In renouncing their citizenship they may lose several rights. 102

They may, for example, be deprived of pension allowances to which they have paid contributions for many years. They may lose the right to inherit or to own property. Some business activities may become less profitable since import and export duties may increase. They may not be allowed to hold some jobs, and they may even have to apply for a visa each time they want to visit their relatives in the old country. A serious disadvantage of renouncing a citizenship is in some cases the very high costs which are involved. Some countries require that all the state's costs for a person's education shall be repaid. Other debts may also become due to payment in full, and the total costs may amount to considerable sums. Naturalisation may in this way have a number of consequences which are both expensive and annoying for persons who want to stay in close contact with the country they have left and whose citizenship they have to renounce in order to become a citizen of the country they now live in. Acquiring the citizenship of another country may even be considered an action disloyal to the country of emigration, and in extreme cases, a former citizen may not be allowed to return even as a visitor. It has even happened that personal property has been confiscated. Usually, however, the consequences are less dramatic even if they may still be serious. Political refugees may sometimes not want to change citizenship for fear that their relatives might suffer some kind of disagreeable experiences, losing a job or some opportunity to get an education, etc. The disadvantages are not the same for those who do not have to renounce their original citizenship, but can enjoy both. Usually they do not lose any rights in their country of origin when they obtain new rights in the host country. But of course in practice they cannot work and live and fully enjoy these same rights in both countries at the same time. They may carry two passports in their pockets, but they always show only one of them. In each of the two countries, the authorities 103

therefore treat them as if they were citizens of that country and only of that country. In fact, few countries know exactly who among its citizens are also citizens of another country. Calculations of positive and negative effects of naturalisation include, as this discussion has demonstrated, an array of different factors. There are on the one hand direct practical consequences, measurable in money, or clearly distinctive as a loss or gain of specific rights and duties. Emigration and immigration countries can in their respective emigration and immigration policies and in their citizenship policies influence these practical consequences. There are on the other hand also strong symbolic and emotional relations to state, nation, ethnic and religious origin, family etc. which enter these calculations. These features are also influenced by the policies of the states involved, and especially by their great demands upon full and unswerving loyalty. The length of an immigrant's residence in the host country is often taken to be of great importance to his interest in naturalisation. The relationship is not a simple one, however. As we have seen, some denizens prefer to remain non-citizens even after very long periods of residence. But in general, time does have an impact. Denizens are increasingly integrated into the host country. Ties to the country of emigration are often weakened. It is often members of the second generation, brought up in the host country, who finally make their parents aware of the fact that a change has tak(m place, initiating a naturalisation process including both generations of the family. Military obligations may be the final incentive for some members of the second generation, marriage and family for others. As was pointed out in the French study of naturalised French citizens, advantages are often balanced by disadvantages. Practical gains and benefits are countered by symbolic and emotional costs. A person who says that he wishes to become naturalised because he has developed a strong attachment or 104

loyalty to his new country through living his life there may in the next moment recall that he would lose the right to inherit his parents' property in the country he came from. Integration in the new country is often combined with a wish to preserve ties to the old country and the old national identity. This shows the shortcomings of the common idea that national identity is a zero-sum-game, and that a person can have only one national identity, and only be loyal to one country. Studies of immigrants' propensity to naturalise indicate that national identities and loyalties may be combined in many different ways. More or less dual identities are not infrequent. In many cases it may therefore seem very reasonable to make an immigrant a citizen in his new country while allowing him to retain his former citizenship.



Dual Citizenship

Everyone should be a citizen of one country and no one should be a citizen of more than one. This is the norm in international law and also the rule adopted by many national legislations. And in accordance with this norm the large majority of people in the world have only a single citizenship. But for many reasons an increasing number are citizens of two or more countries. International agreements have been concluded to stop this development, the foremost instance in Europe being the Council of Europe convention of 1963 on the reduction of cases of multiple nationality. This convention has not proved to be effective, however. Only eleven countries have ratified it, and even these eleven countries have applied its principles in very different ways. In the 1980s, several emigration countries that are members of the Council of Europe and some immigration countries, especially France and Sweden, have given preliminary support to a reconsideration of the convention of 1963. In these countries, the prevailing negative attitude towards dual citizenship has been questioned. There are several reasons for believing that it will be increasingly difficult in the future to insist on one citizenship only. The number of dual citizens will in any case continue to increase, and a stubborn insistence might even have undesirable effects, since it leads to a low 106

rate of naturalisation and therefore a prolongation of the large foreign populations. 1 Why a Substantial Increase in Numbers?

The purpose of the Council of Europe Convention of May 6, 1963 was to reduce the number of dual citizens and thereby to minimize the inconvenience that may follow from situations where it is not clear which country's legislation should be applied, or in which country military service should be completed, or even which citizenship a person should be considered to hold at a certain time. The Convention has probably partly served its purpose, for although the number of dual citizens in Europe has increased substantially, without the Convention the number would probably have been much greater. This increase has been caused by several factors: the immense increase in the foreign populations of European immigration countries, a sizeable second generation of immigrants' children, and a new attitude towards equality between women and men, both in marriage and as parents. 2 As a consequence of extensive immigration and of a low rate of naturalisation, several European states today report large foreign populations that have stayed more than ten years, more than fifteen or even more than twenty years in the country (see table 2 in chapter 1). This foreign population amounts to more than 4.6 million in the Federal Republic of Germany, about 3.5 million in France, and about another 5 million in the rest of Western Europe. Immigrants to Great Britain have primarily come from various parts of the Com1. As a consultant to the Council of Europe, I wrote in 1983 a report on "The Naturalization of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and Questions of Dual Nationality'', Council of Europe, Directorate of Economic and Social Affairs, presented to a Committee on Experts of the Steering Committee on Intra-European Migration (CDMG). The present chapter is built partly on material that I gathered for this report, partly on the discussions that have followed afterwards. 2. Hammar, T, 1983, pp 2 ff.


monwealth, and were therefore long considered to be British subjects, and as we have seen, it was the British Nationality Act of 1981 that brought the British concept of citizenship closer to what might be taken as the European norm. While Great Britain therefore has a small foreign population, the number of dual citizens is very large indeed, for Irish citizens are numerous and they are by tradition treated as British citizens as soon as they take up residence in Britain. Questions relating to citizenship have become highly significant for millions of people in Europe in their relations both to the country of immigration and that of emigration. The large populations of Yugoslavs, Greeks and Turks in the Federal Republic of Germany, of Algerians och Portugueses in France, of Moroccans in the Netherlands, of Italians in Switzerland etc gradually develop dual identities. They preserve close contacts with their country of origin, send money to relatives or banks there, return often to visit their former home, develop language and culture etc. But they also educate a young generation growing up in the new country to work and to live there. They are becoming German-Turks, French-Algerians, Swiss-Italians etc both in their perceptions of themselves and in other people's perception of them, in the emigration as well as in the immigration country. From a psychological point of view, dual citizenship could for them be a fair expression of their dual national identity. When a country in this way has received a very large number of immigrants from one country, a new kind of minority structure develops on its territory. For the country of immigration, this may cause a political dilemma. Political conflicts and divisions may be imported, and with these perhaps also extremism and terrorism. On the other hand, quick integration, perhaps by means of early naturalisation, could introduce a powerful but uncertain factor into the country's political life. For this reason determined objections are often raised against proposals to launch a liberal naturalisation policy. There may however be just as great 108

future problems involved in a policy which isolates a large and concentrated minority as an underprivileged enclave outside the community. Acquisition of a Second Citizenship

The citizenship status of the second generation varies, as we have seen, according to the legislation of each immigration country. In Britain where "jus soli" is still the main principle, members of the second generation are full citizens on condition that their parents were legal residents at their birth or have become so thereafter. In France, they normally receive French citizenship automatically unless they themselves reject it, and in France, as in Britain, it is accepted that dual citizenship may be the result. In the Federal Republic of Germany on the other hand, the children of immigrants do not become German citizens. Several proposals have been made, however, to facilitate the naturalisation of the second generation, born in the country. In a statement of 1984, the Federal Government declared its intention to facilitate naturalisation for the second and third generations. Responding to a question in the Bundestag, the government maintained that "there is a public interest to naturalise the second generation and following generations, already because no state in the long run can tolerate that a sizeable part of its population for generations remains outside the state as a political community, free from obligations of loyalty to this state (ausserhalb der staatlichen Gemeinschaft und ausserhalb der Loyalitatspflichten)".3 This statement gave evidence of a new awareness of the problems discussed here, but also of the great difficulties involved in a reform policy. In 1989, when immigration policy has become a hot election issue in the Federal Republic, the restrictive naturalisation legislation is still unaltered and in force. 3. Quartsch, H, 1988, Einbiirgerungspolitik als Ausliinderpolitik, Der Staat, 1988, pp 483 ff. - In this article, Quartsch gives a full account of arguments against a reform.


Many states have recently changed their legislation in one other respect. A woman previously received the nationality of her husband, and some states still adhere to this principle. But many have recently changed their policy to facilitate the naturalisation of persons whose spouse is already a citizen, in the same manner for women as for men. At present therefore, many women obtain dual citizenship when, according to the law of their adopted country, say Switzerland or Iran, they acquire their husband's citizenship at marriage, and retain their previous citizenship according to the law of their country of origin. In new citizenship acts women and men are also treated equally with respect to their children's acquisition of citizenship at birth. We have already mentioned the traditional and patriarchal order that children received their father's citizenship when born in wedlock and their mother's when born out of wedlock. In many states this order has been replaced by a system that gives a child, whose parents are of different nationality, the citizenship of both. In 1977, a resolution supporting this new sytem was adopted by the Committees of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Member states were recommended to grant their citizenship at birth to children born in wedlock, if either the father or mother was a citizen or to provide facilities for these children up to the age of 22 to acquire their parent's citizenship. This resolution evidently contradicts the main principle established in the Convention of 1963, that dual citizenship shall be rejected for adults. This divergence in existing European instruments is in itself a good reason for reexamining international norms concerning citizenship. The fact that the number of dual citizens has not decreased but instead heavily increased has also given strong support to this idea.4

4. Council of Europe Resolution 1977; The contradiction to the convention of 1963 was mentioned when the Swedish Government proposed a study of dual citizenship to be made by the Council of Europe. 110

However, there are hardly any statistics available on dual citizenship. No country seems to have anything more than estimates. It is therefore impossible to know exactly how many people also are citizens of a second or a third country. Most countries register and count only one citizenship, namely their own. The Federal Republic of Germany is an exception in this regard, but as we have seen, naturalisation is infrequent in the Federal Republic of Germany and the number of dual citizens probably very low compared to other states. In 1981, when statistics of this sort began to be collected in the Federal Republic of Germany, 4,204 out of a total of 13,643 naturalised persons were registered as dual or multiple citizens.5 In Britain, statistics are not kept, but the number of dual citizens is large. Most aliens do not have to renounce the previous citizenship in order to be naturalised. In this respect, there are no restrictions, and dual citizenship is fully tolerated in the Nationality Act of 1981, just as it has been before. Irish citizens enjoy, as we have mentioned, full social, economic and political rights in Britain, and British citizens have now also been granted the same rights in the Irish republic. Irish and British are reciprocally treated as if they were citizens and if that is their choice. They can easily acquire full citizenship also in the other state, without renunciation of the original citizenship. According to the census of 1981, there were more than 600,000 residents in Britain, born in the Irish Republic, and all these were citizens or potential citizens of both countries. 6 In France, there are only estimates to fall back on, but according to them, more than one million French citizens also possess another citizenship. The three national groups that provide the largest contingents of persons who acquire French citizenship - the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the Italian groups - all include large numbers of dual citizens. The 5. German reply to Council of Europe questionnaire in 1983. 6. Information from dr Z Layton-Henry, Warwick University. 111

reintegration and naturalisation of Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians also creates dual citizens in cases where the loss of the person's previous citizenship does not occur automatically. And the number of dual citizens is increasing in France, for many children in all groups have a French mother or father and therefore receive dual citizenship at birth. 7 France is one of the nine states which have ratified the Convention of 1963 in its entirety. The other eight states are Austria, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Norway, Luxembourg and Sweden, and finally as late as in 1985 also the Netherlands. Great Britain, Ireland and Spain are parties only to the Convention's second chapter dealing with dual militayr obligations. Britain and Ireland are like France and Sweden estimated to have many dual citizens, the Federal Republic of Germany, as we have noted, few. The Convention is interpreted and applied differently in all countries and, for a number of reasons, it has not brought about a uniform regulation throughout Europe. Portugal, Italy, and Greece have not ratified the Convention since these emigration states, like many others, actually oppose the purpose of its main principle. It is more in their interest to favour solutions that grant their citizens abroad the right to keep their old citizenship even when they naturalise and become citizens of an immigration country. In other words - with Britain as an important exception - dual citizenship is looked on more favourably in emigration countries than in immigration countries. Sending countries like Turkey and Portugal cannot accept that several hundred thousands of their citizens abroad will be definitely lost. Because of the very rich family relations and economic and cultural ties that international migration gives rise to, the 7. Darras, L, 1986, La double nationalite, these pour le doctorat d'etat, Paris 2. - Darras, on page 6, quotes an evaluation from 1951, according to which the number of dual citizens would have been around 2 million in France, and Darras adds - probably an exaggeration - that the number since then could have been multiplied by three to about 6 million dual citizens. 112

countries of emigration must devote much attention to their citizens abroad, for example in the Federal Republic of Germany and in France. If many emigrants wish to become naturalised in their new countries, the old countries can perhaps accept the fact, but would like them to remain its citizens as well - in other words, to become dual citizens. Emigration countries may even be concerned about the political rights of their citizens residing abroad. Discrimination and inferior living conditions cannot be accepted in the long run. Diplomatic representations may be made to protect their citizens' interests and immigrant associations or "amicales", subsidized by the countries of origin, may function as their pressure groups. As political rights and participation strengthen the position of emigrants in the country of immigration, emigration countries are often willing to concede a dual citizenship status.8 There are two further loop-holes in the Convention of 1963 that made dual citizenship possible. One is the fact that the Convention is binding for the contracting states only in relation to other ratifying states. In practice, however, most states have extended application of its provisions to all other states. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries, for example, the renunciation of previous citizenship is a general requirement for naturalisation, a rule that is applied to the citizens of all states, even though this is not explicitly required by the Convention. France, by contrast, follows the wording of the Convention and exempts citizens from Portugal and all other states not parties to the Convention from the requirement of renunciation, and all these exemptions then lead to numerous cases of dual citizenship in France. The other loophole has already been mentioned. It arises from the fact that only a few states have ratified the Convention. In 1985, after more than 20 years, the Nether8. Miller, M J, 1981, Foreign Workers in Western Europe, pp 30 ff. 113

lands became the nineth of the 21 members of the European Council to ratify both parts of the Convention. None of the major emigration countries of southern Europe are included among the ratifying states. At the same time the majority of candidates for naturalisation in the nothern part of Europe come in fact from these states in southern Europe, which favour dual citizenship. Since the Convention was signed in 1963, a conflict of interest has emerged between emigration states that prefer that their citizens have an opportunity to acquire a second citizenship besides their original one, and immigration countries, most of which are reluctant to grant naturalisation, and in any case demand that candidates give up their old citizenship. This latent conflict is one of the reasons why the Convention of 1963 was taken up for reconsideration in 1983. Another reason was the low rate of naturalisation and the problems created by the fact that large foreign populations in several immigration countries seemed to be perpetuated. In the end of this chapter we shall return to this discussion going on inside and outside of the Council of Europe. Inconvenience Caused by Dual Citizenship

It is often asked in this context what the good and bad consequences of dual citizenship are. We shall make an attempt to summarize some of these here. We should first state, however, that these questions are usually asked on the premise that international migration is infrequent. Our perspective here is clearly the opposite. Millions of people take up residence and work in a foreign country and stay there for many years. As many or perhaps even more will probably do so in the future. It may therefore be more pertinent to inquire into the consequences of single-country citizenship for immigrants who do not reside in the countries of which they are citizens. But consideration of this question will be deferred until later. 114

In reply to a questionnaire from the Council of Europe, experts from emigration countries stated that no inconvenience arises from dual citizenship as long as all obligations are fulfilled in the country where these dual citizens have their domicile. All rights available in that country are then also available to them, since the laws apply to all citizens equally. The fact that some citizens are also citizens of a second country is not attributed any significance? Problems are first encountered when those who have effective residence in one state enter the second state they are also citizens of. The second state has the right to regard them exclusively as its own citizens, exactly in the same way as the first state does. Each state is free to apply its citizenship legislation and to disregard the corresponding legislation of other states. Every state gives diplomatic protection to its own citizens in other countries, but this protection cannot be extended to countries where they are also citizens. Dual citizens are therefore often informed that they can not be promised protection if they go to the second country where they are also citizens. There seems to be a trend, however, towards assisting dual citizens as far as possible, even in their relations with the authorities of their second country. A special case with numerous examples should be mentioned. Many persons who have left their countries of origin wish to be freed from their citizenship for the paradoxical reason that they often wish to return to visit their country of origin. If they return to their old country as "foreign citizens", they can expect their new country to give them full diplomatic protection. For the same reason, however, the country of origin may not be interested in consenting to free them from citizenship since it would then give up some of its ability to control and influence this group of people when they are on visit in the country or even when they stay abroad. 10 9. Hammar, T, 1983. 10. Ibid; Dubbclt mcdborgarskap, DsA 1986:6, pp 83 ff.


Cases of legal kidnapping may be another serious drawback of dual citizenship, or perhaps better of a child's citizenship in another country. When parents confer different citizenship on their children, one of them may, in a conflict, leave with the children. The other parent can then seldom raise successful legal claims that the children be returned, for they are also citizens of the country to which they have been taken. The problem of legal kidnapping is caused by family legislation and by different ideas about the father or the mother as the foremost guardian of the children. A number of less drastic disadvan~ages may also be mentioned. Uncertainty may prevail as to which legislation should be applied in individual cases where two or more citizenships are involved. Extra work is required and authorities need more qualified employees. It may be somewhat easier to take advantage of the complexity of the system, to appear under several names and with more than one passport, but this kind of deliberate fraud will always exist. The most serious inconvenience caused by dual citizenship is the obligation to do military service in more than one country. The Convention of 1963 declared that military duty should be fulfilled in relation to one Contracting Party only. A number of states have concluded agreements to the same end, but there are still many cases where fulfilment of dual obligations is in fact demanded. There are other instances of young men, for example citizens of Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, or Iran, who have not been able to visit their country, because they have not done their military service there, even though they have done military service in another country, for example in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands or a Scandinavian country, where they are also citizens. Some countries do not grant the renunciation of citizenship until the obligatory military service has been completed, in the hope that this will prevent many young people from asking for renunciation just to avoid having to do their military service. If 116

these young people nevertheless acquire the citizenship of the country where they effectively reside, they are trapped into a situation where they can no longer visit the other country where they are also citizens. The choice that many children of immigrants are confronted with is therefore either to accept to be shut out from their parents' country of origin, or to do military service there, even though they do not themselves have their domicile in that country. To sum up, we might say that as matters now stand, some people are forced to perform dual military obligations, or else they cannot visit both countries. Others must abstain from visiting the country where they risk being brought into service again and perhaps also being punished for desertion. For citizens of several states, dual military obligations thus remain an unsolved problem. It is clear, however, that international agreements have already done much and could in the future do much more to reduce this inconvenience for persons with more than one citizenship. Some Advantages of Dual Citizenship The negative aspects of dual citizenship have received much more attention than the possible positive aspects. This may be due to the fact that the evaluation is made from the perspective of the state more than from an individual person's point of view. Otherwise, it would be rather surprising that such a large number of people demonstrate a preference for dual citizenship when it is available to them. The first advantage is of course, that dual citizens enjoy the right to take up residence and work in either country without losing the right to do the same in the other. The opportunities of two countries are open to them. The same applies to citizens of member states within the EEC or the Nordic labour market. But dual citizenship extends these same advantages in individual cases to citizens of non-member states. And, it should be added, this means that the states 117

make economic and other gains thanks to an extended division of labour. Second, there may also be opportunities for dual citizens to take the best out of two countries, for instance with regard to taxation, social benefits, old age pensions etc, and indeed, this seemingly privileged position is often a matter of complaint and perhaps envy. Most extra gains of this sort do not follow from dual citizenship, however, but from a legal domicile and they are therefore enjoyed by denizens as much as by citizens. Third - and in the last part of this book we will return to this point, which is central to us here - dual citizens enjoy full civil and political rights in both countries, rights that are salient for them especially in the country where they have their effective residence. Although these rights are granted to all citizens, the exercise of them may be made dependent on domicile. At present, the fact that a person has more than one citizenship does not have any effect on voting rights or on eligibility for election in any country. But there are countries where citizens domiciled abroad are not allowed to vote in either local or national elections. In some countries, a person who stands for election to a high position, President of the State, Prime Minister, Senator, Member of Parliament etc, must have been born in the country or have been naturalised more than 10 years earlier etc. The idea behind such restrictions is to guarantee absolute loyalty and complete attachment to the state. In no state, however, has it occurred to the fathers of the constitution that they should also require that elected representatives are not dual citizens. In Europe, there are no doubt several representatives in decision-making bodies who possess more than one citizenship. Alexander Chrisopoulos, the Greek citizen who is a member of the Swedish Riksdag, is just one example. Dual voting rights are sometimes exercised by dual citizens, although there are many practical obstacles to this. In some 118

countries such as Greece, Italy and Switzerland, voting takes place only within the country and no provision is made for voting at embassies abroad or by mail. In other countries it is mainly a lack of information and interest that heavily reduces participation. Dual representation in the sense that one person is a member of more than one state's parliament is practically and politically impossible. The electoral procedures and the requirement that a candidate have done years' of political work before nomination, are effective restraints. And in practice, no one could at one and the same time perform the job of a full-time politician in two countries. 11 A Council of Europe Expert Committee

The "Convention on reduction of cases of mulitple nationality and military obligatiOns in cases of multiple nationality" was adopted by the Council of Europe on May 6 1963, before or just at the beginning of the large European labour immigration. When foreign citizens stayed on for several decades in all the receiving countries, and when they de facto formed large foreign populations in these countries, a debate about the future of this Convention was bound to come. In 1981 Sweden initiated such a discussion on naturalisation and dual citizenship within the Council of Europe. An expert committee was appointed by the Steering Committee on IntraEuropean Migration (CDMG) for discussions of the advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship. The participants were experts from six immigration or receiving countries (France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland) and from four emigration or sending countries (Greece, Portugal, Spain and Turkey). 12 Right from the start in December 1983, France and Sweden appeared to be the only immigration countries that were not 11. DsA 1986:6, pp 122 ff. 12. Hammar, T, 1983. 119

expressly sceptical towards a more liberal interpretation of the Convention of 1963. It was acknowledged by everyone that dual citizenship was often beneficial to individual persons, although a warning was issued not to exaggerate either the advantages or disadvantages of dual citizenship. In the view of the other four immigration states, the interests of the states and not those of the individuals were decisive for the evaluation of dual citizenship. A number of considerations are involved in a country's naturalisation policy, and it may be necessary for the state to give some of these priority over the integration of foreign citizens. The perspectives applied by these experts were mainly those of legal specialists and the chief administrators of naturalisation policies. From their point of view, the change that had taken place since 1963 - by way of international migration - was only a change in numbers. These experts saw no new and strong legal reason for a revision of the Convention. In contrast, France and Sweden expressed a readiness for such a revision, but they did this with great caution, and without binding themselves to certain positions. Most eager, but also moderate, were the four emigration countries, which explicitly demanded a shift in policy, but drafted their proposals in such a way that they could hope for support from other experts who were not prepared to go as far as they themselves would like. In their argumentation they emphasised that emigrants should not be forced to break away definitely from their country of origin, and that they therefore ought to be allowed two citizenships. The right to preserve the original citizenship should be seen as a human right parallel to the already accepted right to renounce one citizenship on the acquisition of another.l3 The Expert Committee finally produced a unanimous document containing no substantial recommendations, only proposals for further study and discussion. Four emigration 13. Council of Europe. First Document from Expert Committee, cited here.


and two immigration countries were inclined to ask for a possible future revision of the Convention of 1963, while the other four immigration countries saw no reason for such a step. The basic positions were too divergent to make further decisions in accord. This Expert Committee may also, because of its composition, have given too much emphasis to legal and administrative aspects on dual citizenship and naturalisation, and too little emphasis to their significance for integration of immigrants. The committee's work did not immediately lead to any results. But it may have helped to document some facts and to prepare for future initiatives. The Swedish Commission on Citizenship

In March 1985, the Government of Sweden appointed six members of Parliament to a Commission on Citizenship for studying possible extensions of the legal opportunities to obtain dual citizenship, both for foreign citizens who wished also to become Swedish citizens and for Swedish citizens who wished to keep their citizenship when acquiring a second. In the first report from this Commission, published in December 1986, representatives of all the five political parties in the Swedish Riksdag agreed that if it could be demonstrated that there were no clear disadvantages of dual citizenship, full respect should be paid to the interests of many immigrants in keeping their original citizenship when becoming Swedish citizens. Two major problems had to be solved first, however, namely the national security problem and the problem that some people were given double voting rights. 14 Both the Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish armed forces and the Chief of the Swedish police maintained that as a result of dual and conflicting loyalties, dual citizenship might imply security risks. Accepting this evaluation, the 14. DsA 1986:6, pp 9 ff and 121 ff. 121

Commission maintained that dual citizenship by itself was not a risk factor. The problem lay instead with strong emotional ties, and dependence on another country, where members of the family were citizen residents. Support for this opinion was found in the fact that there was no evidence of the misuse of dual citizenship in connection with crimes against national security. The Commission therefore concluded that the security aspects could not be said to require a restrictive attitude towards dual citizenship. Double voting rights, and perhaps also double eligibility, were seen as problems which it is more difficult to tackle. Even if not very many dual citizens actually make use of their voting rights in both countries, the Commission considered the question to be a matter of principle and tried to find various ways of avoiding double voting. A proposal to ask individual persons to declare publicly that they would vote only in one country was rejected, and the Commission recommended that solutions be sought through negotiations and conventions with other countries. The Commission unanimously proposed continued initiatives in the Council of Europe and in negotiations with other countries, the other Nordic countries in particular. It was not said that Sweden should ask for a revision of the Convention of 1963, only that this question should be further studied. The Commission also recommended a further liberalization of the present Swedish practice of allowing exemptions from the requirement that previous citizenship be renounced when acquiring Swedish citizenship. These proposals have been generally well received in Sweden, and the favourable reactions may first of all indicate that negotiations will be initiated by Sweden to find Nordic solutions, and especially to reach an agreement with Finland. More than 130,000 Finnish citizens have their residence in Sweden, and Finland loses a number of these citizens each year as a result of the automatic loss of Finnish citizenship 122

that by present practice takes place when Finns become naturalised citizens of Sweden. Second, Sweden will probably also grant non-Nordic citizens more exemptions from the renunciation requirement. And third, Sweden may continue to work in the same direction within the Council of Europe as weli. 15 Voting rights and dual citizenship are closely related in the Swedish debate. Social-Democrats and Communists in Sweden favour an extension of the present voting rights in local and regional elections to include the national elections as well, at least for Nordic citizens to begin with. The three non-socialist parties in the Riksdag are absolutely opposed to this proposal. Since it would require an amendment of the Constitution and since such an amendment needs a high degree of political agreement, the proposed electoral reform has been shelved. 16 For many years now, all the political parties in Sweden have encouraged naturalisation, and they have repeatedly joined in legislative proposals to reduce the requirements. Since the immigration stop of 1972, Sweden has relied upon the first of its three gates, immigration regulation, and left the other two gates wide open: a permanent resident permit is given after one year's residence and naturalisation after not more than five years. A great number of exemptions from the renunciation requirement are already made for political refugees and for citizens of countries that refuse to release their citizens from their original citizenship, such countries as Greece, Turkey and Iran. About half of the 20,000 who are naturalised per year are allowed to keep their former citizenship and thereby acquire dual citizenship. 17 15. Opinions from several Swedish boards and agencies have been made public in the Summer of 1987. 16. Rostriitt och medborgarskap, 1984, pp 172 ff and 233 ff; Hammar, T and Reinans, SA, 1986, Sopemi Report. 17. DsA 1986:6, p 41.


To conclude, the Nordic countries, or at least Sweden and Finland, may perhaps rather soon accept dual citizenship to a larger extent than before, if not totally. Agreements regulating the bilateral conditions, especially with regard to the exercise of voting rights, may be concluded. A parallel may perhaps be drawn here between the quick Nordic electoral reform that gave voting rights to immigrants, and the possible development of dual citizenship in the Nordic countries. If this happens, it may also have implications for other countries, just as the previous electoral reform did. But this will probably require more time. There are also some indications of an active interest in dual citizenship in immigration countries that otherwise have been critical of this solution. In 1985 Liselotte Funcke, as Commissioner for Matters Relating to Foreigners in the Federal Republic of Germany, endorsed dual citizenship. She suggested that one citizenship should predominate and entail all rights and obligations, but that a person might also have a second, "dormant" citizenship without rights or obligations. 18 As we have already seen emigration countries have a great interest in broader acceptance of dual citizenship. But also in the Netherlands and in Switzerland, dual citizenship has begun to be discussed. In France, where the number of dual citizens amounts to several million people, the favourable attitude has been heavily attacked during the last years. The conservative Government of M Chirac submitted in 1986 a bill according to which the automatic acquisition of French citizenship should come to an end and the requirements for naturalisation should be raised. This bill was withdrawn, however, because of militant demonstrations in the streets of Paris, and no attempt to introduce similar legislation is likely to be made in the near future. 19

18. Statement of May 10, 1985 prepared for a conference in Stockholm. 19. Brubaker, R, 1989.


PART 3 Political Rights and Political Participation



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Political Rights for Denizens 1945 - 1987

Foreign citizens are almost never completely excluded from political life. From the first hour of their visit in a new country they are obliged to follow its regulations and domestic laws, made by political decisions, and they are perhaps also free to express their opinions about what they see and hear. Especially in democracies, where all citizens are guaranteed political freedoms, foreign citizens cannot be completely kept out of political life, and long-term residents, who obtain the status of denizens, are in fact often given extensive political rights. But the main European tradition during this century has nevertheless been to forbid foreign citizens to take part in political activities, i.e. to reserve political rights for citizens. In general elections, it is relatively easy to ensure that foreign citizens do not take part. There may be voters who are citizens of more than one country, but as citizens they are entitled to vote and to stand for election, and cannot be excluded simply because of their second citizenship. As a matter of fact, in this respect, very little extra attention has so far been paid to dual citizens. In constitutions and electoral laws everywhere, voting rights and eligibility is given to citizens or to the "People", the "Nation" or the "Staatsvolk". Only citizens are entered into the electoral registers and only they can stand for election. 127

Political ideas are much more difficult to control. Socialism, liberalism and conservatism do not respect national borders. Political parties have often been formed under the influence of political movements in other countries, and sister organisations often cooperate directly. It would therefore be highly unrealistic to try to prohibit foreign citizens from participating in political activities. Strong economic interests would make such a prohibition even more problematic. Capital, industry and trade cross national borders, and the labour movements of many countries cooperate to protect their common interests in this international economy. It may in this broad perspective seem almost incredible that so many serious attempts have been made to hinder foreign citizens from making political speeches, forming their own associations, or participating in political demonstrations. Such attempts have never the less been made throughout Europe and especially during the two world wars. The protection of the national security seems to have been one of the major motives, and in time of war or when war is imminent, all countries take steps to control all those foreign residents whose presence in the country is perceived as a risk. One obvious form of control is to prevent them from any kind of political activity whatsoever. Neutral states, like Sweden and Switzerland, remammg outside all alliances in peace in order not to be involved in future wars, may show a special interest in the exclusion of all foreign interference, and therefore a concern to ban the political activities of foreign residents. We shall soon return to the Swedish example, but may recall here that foreign residents in Switzerland are still not allowed to speak on a political issue in an open or private meeting of an association without prior authorization from the cantonal government. And even when this authorization is given, a speaker must refrain from saying anything that might be interpreted as interference in the internal affairs of Switzerland. 1 1. de Rham, G, Political Integration of Migrant Workers in Switzerland, paper given at the ECPR conference in Goteborg, Sweden, in March 1986.


In addition to the risk that foreign residents may pull a neutral country into external conflicts, there is a potential danger that foreign countries may also try to make use of their citizens abroad to interfere in a state's domestic policy. The Communist International of the 1930s may be cited as an example of this. When the Soviet Union was encircled by capitalist states, it gave support and guidance to friendly communist parties in other countries, and emissaries were secretly sent out to coordinate and control these parties' activities? National security risks and risks of interference in domestic politics from foreign interests have been major reasons to prohibit strictly the political activities of foreign residents. But there was also another, and probably an even more important reason, already contained in the idea of representative democracy. As the people are represented in decision-making bodies, active and passive electoral rights should be reserved for citizens who collectively make up this people. Political decisions should reflect their interests and opinions, and not the interests and opinions of those who are not citizens. Close at hand then lies the conclusion that foreign residents should not be allowed to vote, nor to intervene in political debates and other forms of opinion making. International Law

This strongly negative attitude has changed during the short period since the Second World War, and several international conventions and declarations have futhered this development. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948, article 2 says: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national and social origin, property, birth or other status." 2. See for example Hammar, T, 1964, Sverige at svenskarna, Stockholm pp 296 ff. 129

The implication is not that freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly etc, guaranteed in this Declaration, are acknowledged to everyone, i.e. even to those who are not citizens of the country. The guarantee is valid without the distinctions enumerated, but for citizens only. The Declaration is not explicit on this point, however. The word citizen is not mentioned. 3 Explicit is however the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the General A.,sembly of the United Nations in 1966. Its article 25 says that "every citizen" shall have the right and the opportunity to take part in the conduct of public affairs, to vote and to be elected, and to have access to public services in his country. In other words, only citizens are guaranteed these rights and not those who are foreign residents in the same country.4 The European Convention on Human Rights of 1953 contains limitations that with respect to voting rights go beyond those of the UN's International Covenant of 1966. According to its article 16, contracting states may impose "restrictions on the political activity of aliens", and a direct reference is made to the freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association with others, "including the right to form and to join trade unions". But restrictions to exclude foreign citizens from these rights must be prescribed by law. 5 Nevertheless, this European Convention of 1953, the UN Declaration of 1948, and the UN Covenant of 1966 have broken with previous principles, and this may have helped to open the way for the reevaluation of political rights for foreign citizens that has taken place in most states in Western Europe. They have done this by defining these human rights in general terms and then specifying under what conditions foreign 3. Dowrick, FE, ed, 1979, Human Rights, Problems, Perspectives and Texts, Saxon House, England. 4. Claude R P, 1976, Comparative Human Rights. 5. Article 10 and 11, see Dowrick, FE, 1979, pp 179 f. 130

citizens may be acceptably excluded. Subsequently political rights have gradually been extended, in some states earlier and in others somewhat later. In 1977, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe urged the Committee of Ministers to consider voting rights for foreign residents at the level of local authorities. The Nordic countries had already taken this step and it was being seriously considered in the Netherlands as well. Other European member-states were adamantly opposed to it, however. A reform of this kind was on the other hand favoured by the emigration countries. In 1983, the General Secretary of the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the Portuguese Government, organized a "Colloquy on 'Human Rights of Aliens in Europe'", which described and analysed the current status of foreign citizens in the European states, 'that are members of the Council of Europe. 6 At several later meetings of European ministers responsible for immigration policy, recommendations have been made about political rights and several times also about voting rights in local elections. But while other political rights have been granted in country after country, the resistance to extending voting rights has been growing. Extension of Political Rights in the FRG and in Sweden

In France up to 1981, associations of foreign citizens or associations in which foreigners had a substantial influence needed a special authorization of the Minister of the Interior, and, unlike all other associations, could not just notify the Minister about their existence. When this restriction was waived in 1981, a long-demanded freedom of association was finally obtained.? 6. bzsunay, E, 1983, The participation of the Alien in Public Affairs (Political and Associational Life), Council of Europe. 7. Withol de Wenden, C, 1984a, Political Participation of Immigrants in France, paper given at the ECPR joint sessions of workshops in Salzburg.


In the Federal Republic of Germany, foreign residents were allowed to take part in assemblies and demonstrations already in 1953, and in 1964 also to form their own associations. When they were permitted three years later to become members of political parties, each party remained free to decide whether it could accept foreign citizens as members. But only the Bavarian CSU decided that it could not do so. However, the foreign members of any political party were not permitted to participate in the nomination of candidates for a general election, and the majority of the members of any party had to be German citizens.8 The most radical change over a short period of time seems to have taken place in Sweden. There, in the 1950s, serious attempts were made to prevent foreign citizens (then mostly refugees) from engaging in political activities, yet in the 1960s proposals were made to give local voting rights to immigrants. Sweden is also the country where voting rights for foreign residents were first accepted unanimously by all political parties, and where the first immigrant election took place in 1976. We shall present the Swedish example in some detail. When in 1936 the Riksdag prolonged a temporary Swedish Aliens Act, it was officially stated that political refugees should receive a humanitarian treatment within the limits of what was required by the interests of Sweden. To this was added: ''There is one indispensible condition for this treatment, however, namely that foreign residents remain totally neutral. Political activities may not take place."9 The word "neutral" may be an indication that this declaration may have been partly motivated by "Swedish neutrality" or in other words by the traditional Swedish foreign policy. In 8. Dohse, K, 1981, Auslandische Arbeiter und Biirgerlicher Staat, Konigstein Taunus. 9. Riksdagen, Second Committee on Law 1936:53; Bjorling-Lindencrona, 1955, p 21. 132

another document from the same year, the idea is a little more developed: "Every foreigner residing in the country must abstain from interference in the internal affairs of the country; this is especially true for those foreigners who, claiming that they are political refugees, have achieved a right to stay here." Political refugees might be a strain on relations to countries from which they had fled - this seems to be the implication and the obvious foreign country that this fear applied to was of course at that time Hitler's Third Reich, from which a few thousand political refugees fled in the 1930s to Sweden. It should be noted, however, that the ban is directed to "every foreigner" and not only to political refugees, who had been given asylum. 10 This absolute prohibition of political activities was fully applied during the following war years. A number of decrees issued during this period gave the police a free hand to arrest and imprison foreigners who were politically active and who, because they held and expressed extreme political views, could endanger Swedish security and neutrality, and to keep them in long-term custody in special workcamps. Up to El Alamein and Stalingrad in 1942, extreme views meant communist sympathies. Only when this policy was reversed during the last war years were some refugees from occupied Denmark and Norway finally allowed freedom to express their strong feelings against Germany. 11 But this was only an exception of short duration, for already in 1945 and 1946 refugees from the Baltic states were admonished not to openly criticize the Soviet Union, from which they had fled. In their passports was stamped a resident 10. Riksdagen, ibid 1936:53, p 60; Bjorling-Lindencrona, 1955. 11. SOU 1946:36, BeUinkande angaende flyktingars behandling, Sandlerkommissionen (Report on the treatment of refugees by the Sandler Commission). 133

permit conditioned by the warning: "Political activities are not allowed." The Cold War had now begun, and Swedish neutrality required first of all good neighbourly relations to the Soviet Union. The prohibition of political activities was therefore still enforced, at least in principle, when in 1953 it became a topic of debate. There were about 30,000 refugees from the Baltic states in Sweden, and when newspapers wrote that some prominent Estonian refugees, residing in Sweden, planned to form an exile government in Norway, the Swedish foreign ministry issued a general statement that the Swedish Government, as was already well known, adhered to the rule that political refugees were not allowed to conduct political activities in the country. 12 The Swedish foreign minister at this time was Osten Unden, a well-known Social-Democrat, professor of law, and the foremost spokesman for Swedish neutrality policy after the Second World War. In a Riksdag debate shortly after the statement was issued, he explained that the intention had been to make clear that no Estonian government could be accepted in Sweden. The quoted statement should just remind of the old and self-evident principle, that political refugees were not allowed to voice their "political worries, political rancours and political complaints against the country from which they had fled". Sweden did not wish to import the refugees' political fights into its own domestic political debate. And as a rule, all other foreign citizens in the country had the tact to abstain from politics. The leader of the Liberal party, professor Bertil Ohlin, who had started this debate, criticized Unden's statement as being far too general, implying all refugees and all political activities. He asked Unden, if a differentiation was made between refugees and other foreign citizens in Sweden, and under what legal provisions refugees were forbidden to engage in political activities. Estonian refugees had formed numerous 12. Riksdagen, AK 1953:4, Debate in the Second Chamber, February 4, 1953, pp 38, 62, 69 f, 73, 75 f; Bjorling-Lindencrona, 1955, p 21.


associations in Sweden, and Ohlin said that this activity was accepted by everyone, and that this was in his own opinion "in the best agreement with Swedish traditions and attitudes towards refugees in general". 13 A change was about to take place, and the short debate in the Riksdag shows how vague and unclear the situation was in February 1953. During a long period most immigrants had been refugees, and of course they were the most politically active. They could, as Unden feared, cause difficulties in relations with other countries, but other foreign citizens could do that as well, and Unden wished to extend the political requirement of abstention to all foreigners. He had no legal provision to quote in answer to Ohlin's question, for there was none. The self-evident principle had been established by long administrative practice only. The European Convention on Human Rights requires, as we have seen, that limitations in the political rights of foreign residents should be made by legislation, and such legislation had never been introduced in Sweden. In 1951, two years before the Riksdag debate, Sweden had ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. But at that time, nothing had been said about possible implications for political rights of foreign citizens in Sweden. In all likelihood, no consequences of this kind were foreseen. The old practice was thus changed. But several years later, the situation was still not quite clear, neither for foreign residents and political refugees in Sweden, nor for the Swedish authorities. This was demonstrated when a handbook for immigration authorities was published in 1965, in which it was stated: "Swedish law does not forbid foreign c1t1zens to practise politics. In principle they enjoy the same rights to political activity as Swedish citizens do." 13. Riksdagen, AK 1953:4, p 73. 135

Something of a threat still existed, however, for in the next two paragraphs the handbook goes on to say that political deportation and a possible refusal of extension of permits could follow in case of such political activities not deemed to be consistent with Swedish interests. 14 We shall return in a later chapter to the electoral reform that was first initiated as early as 1968 and in 1975 gave immigrants in Sweden voting rights in local elections. We shall only add here that the residential status of foreigners in Sweden was strengthened when the grounds for refusal of permit-extension was more precisely defined in 1968. Even if the Government still can expel individual foreign citizens from Sweden because of political activities, it has subsequently availed itself of this power mainly against a small number of members of terrorist organisations that are known for using threats and violence for political purposes. 15 In Sweden there is less discretionary power left to police and immigration authorities and to the Government than there is for instance in the Federal Republic of Germany or France. In the Federal Republic of Germany the administration may forbid political activities of foreign citizens when important interests of the Republic are endangered. The relevant conditions are not exactly defined. The German Aliens Act of 1965, article 6:2 states that "political activities of aliens can be limited or prohibited, if necessary for the protection against disturbance of public security and order or against impairing the formation of the political will in the Federal Republic or for matters of substantial concern of the Republic." 16

14. Ny i Sverige, edition 1965, p 23. 15. Wikren, G, 1981, Utlanningslagen. 16. Politiscbes Asyl in der Bundesrepublic Deutschland, 1977, Amnesty International, 2. Aufl, Baden-Baden, pp 298 f.


In France, a similar vague and inclusive definition is given by the words "public order". Foreign citizens can hardly know in advance how this imprecise notion will be used in their individual case, and in which situation what kind of political activity may be considered to be a threat to the public order. The best they can do, if they want to secure a prolongation of their permits, is therefore to abstain completely from all political participation. Even if political rights are now expressly given, and even if they are valid for the great majority of all foreign citizens, certain limitations are attached to them in the interests of the state, and foreign citizens are obliged to utilise their political rights in such a way that these interests are not disturbedP The trend has been the same in all Western European immigration countries. An absolute prohibition of political activities has been replaced by successive extensions of political rights. Foreign residents, and especially denizens, have obtained freedom of opinion including freedom of speech and the press, and freedom of demonstration, assembly, association and membership of political parties. However, except for a few instances that we shall discuss later, they have not obtained the right to vote in political elections. Furthermore, the immigration countries have reserved for themselves legal instruments to forbid certain political activities that are seen to constitute a threat to the public interest or to the national security. In the 1980s, when protection against international terrorism became a major concern of several European governments, the liberalizing trend was confronted by a demand for increased control over foreign citizens who might be involved in violent actions. The most conspicuous example of this conflict was the French visa requirement of 1986-1988, valid for all citizens of countries outside the European Community (except Switzerland and Austria).

17. Withol de Wenden, C, 1984a. 137

Political Participation without Political Rights

Thus far we have explained the trend to extend political rights to foreign citizens mainly with reference to international law and the development of human rights in several international documents after the Second World War. We must of course add a reference to the new situation in Western Europe with large denizen populations. The point is that representative democracy has not been able to handle this new situation, in which a large number of adult residents are permanently placed outside political life and lack representation. Their exclusion has not meant, however, that they have also remained voiceless and passive. In France, housing conditions have led to open protests from immigrants with no political rights, and in the Federal Republic of Germany Turkish workers initiated wild-cat strikes to improve their working conditions. In his analysis of the extraparliamentary opposition of foreign workers in these two countries and in Switzerland, Mark J. Miller shows that one of the most important consequences of their protests was an "increasing effort of Western European public authorities to institutionalize foreign worker representation and to involve foreign workers in the public life of the societies in which they live."18 As a result of the housing protests and the rent strikes in France, immigrants received in 1973 real improvements, partly through access to scarce subsidized housing. A wild-cat strike in a Ford plant in Cologne the same year, as well as several other similar labour conflicts, ultimately led not only to improved working conditions, but also and more importantly, to an increase in foreign worker representation within the German trade unions as well as an increased interest on the part of the trade unions in their foreign citizen members. 19 18. Miller, M J, 1981, pp 83 f. 19. Ibid, pp 90 and 109 ff.


Cooperation, and especially joint activities, together with trade unions and other voluntary associations in the country of immigration has also been of importance for the development of political rights for immigrants. Instead of launching their own demonstrations, informal or formal groups of foreign citizens have sometimes joined trade unions or other associations, marching in the streets on May 1 or in any kind of political protest. In this way they have been able to legitimize their protests as lawful, domestic extra parliamentary opposition, in which also some foreign citizens have taken part. The authorities can hardly forbid such protests, and it is also difficult to prevent foreign citizens from joining them. Alliances of this kind have therefore helped to protect protesting denizens. Leftist groups have sometimes made use of this form of cooperation in the hope of recruiting denizens as members. Voluntary associations, social workers, churches and others have seen it to be their duty to cooperate with immigrants by using their own political rights as citizens to articulate the interests of those who do not have such rights. In other words, denizens have in fact made use of political rights, which they formally have not possessed, and the political process has in this way become somewhat more representative than what might have been expected. This demonstrates a lack of realism in the line drawn between citizens with political rights on the one hand and foreign citizens without such rights on the other. Even with respect to political rights denizens have obtained a status between the two, through extraparliamentary opposition and through a gradual extension of their rights of opinion. Consultation

Strong objections have been raised in several countries against proposals to grant foreign residents the right to vote and to stand for election. Various forms of foreign citizen consultation have, however, been used to compensate for the lack of 139

regular representation and to create a channel for exchange of information and opinions between government and denizens. Foreign residents in a municipality or a region are then represented by appointed or elected persons who have no right to participate in the final decision, but who can get information, give advice and articulate their opinions on issues that particularly affect them. 20 Since the 1970's. the political and administrative authorities in most immigration countries have made use of some form of consultation with immigrants and immigrant associations. The forms have differed with respect to the competence of the consultants and their access to the decision-making bodies, the manner in which they have been elected or (more usually) appointed, and the level at which they have been working: state, region, municipality or neighbourhood. In many cases consultation has certainly played an important role both in making decision-makers aware of the needs and demands of immigrants, and in giving representatives of immigrants information about political deliberations and decisions and more generally a knowledge of how politics is conducted in the host country. In Belgium and in a few municipalities in the Federal Republic of Germany, formal elections were arranged in which foreign citizens voted for representatives to what was called a "Foreigners' Parliament". Rather high turnouts, over 50 per cent, were achieved in the first elections, but the experiment was nowhere successful and did not last more than a few years. 21

20. Frowein, J A, 1983, Study of Civil Rights of Nationals of other !:Jember States in Local Public Life, Council of Europe, draft report 1982; Ozsunay, E, The Participation of the Alien in Public Affairs (Political and Associational Life), Council of Europe, Colloquy on "Human Rights of Aliens in Europe". 21. Best known is perhaps the Troisdorff AusHinderparlament 1972-1975, see Frowein, J A, 1983, pp 57 and 62 f.


More lasting have been the advisory boards established for instance in several German municipalities (AusHinderbeirate). They are mixed bodies with a majority usually composed of regular members of the municipal council and a minority of representatives for the foreign residents, normally appointed by the authorities. This close contact with local politicians seems to have provided opportunities to discuss local issues of importance to foreign residents, and this may be one reason why this type of consultation has been fairly successful. When the advisory bodies have been further away from the important decisions emanating from the centre of power, they seem to have been less effective. 22 As the denizen population of one and the same municipality is

often a very heterogeneous group of varying origin and nationality, etc, it is often difficult to find a way of giving denizens satisfactory representation. A further problem is that consultant bodies have little or no power, and therefore often find themselves overruled by those politicians who make the final decisions. They can seldom show that their advice has had an impact on the final outcome. Another complaint is that consultation does not take place as often as it should and perhaps not on issues of major importance.

22. Ibid. pp 58 f and 61 f. 141


Political Interest and Participation

Some countries have introduced voting rights in local elections for denizens; other countries have not; but more or less serious proposals to grant political representation have been made almost everywhere in Western Europe. In this chapter and the next, we shall discuss both the aims and ambitions of this electoral reform, and the actual outcomes as far as we know them. We shall look at turnout rates, and then especially report on the Swedish elections which are the best studied. We shall begin with an overview of factors that may be expected to reduce political interest and participation among immigrants generally. In chapter 10, we shall then attempt a more general evaluation of the experience gained so far. Low Political Interest Are foreign residents genuinly interested in politics, and in what politics are they interested? Is it not doubtful whether most denizens, even after sev~ral years of residence, wish to get voting rights and whether they would in fact take part if they were allowed to? These questions are often asked, and 142

there may be good grounds for them, for there are many factors that tend to reduce immigrants' political interest. 1 First, immigrants are usually young and unmarried persons with little formal education and low income; and according to election studies, young, unmarried persons with little education and low income are also those who generally tend to have low political interest. Because of their composition, most immigrant populations have an overrepresentation of persons with characteristics which usually lead to low political interest and a low rate of political participation. Second, newly arrived foreigners are not familiar with the electoral system, and they may have too little knowledge of the new country, its political issues, politicians, and in general of its political traditions to play an active political role. And as long as they do not know the language well enough, they cannot follow newspapers, broadcasts, or political debates, and therefore do not learn about current political issues. Over a long period of time, new immigrants tend to see the host country's political issues and parties through eye-glasses coloured by what they have learned and experienced of politics in their country of origin. In other words, the impact of primary political learning is strong and durable, but new attitudes and behavioural modes are soon learned in the host countries, where political resocialization usually starts early. We shall discuss this a little more thoroughly later in this chapter. Third, political interest and participation depend on the degree to which political debates and elections are salient for immigrants. Most labour migrants plan to return in a few years or, more vaguely, sometime in the future, and this prospect may in itself reduce their engagement in the political issues of what for them is only a temporary home. If they do not feel successful or if their situation does not improve with time, they may also re-emigrate. Their ties to the new country 1. Miller, M, 1981, Foreign Workers in Western Europe, An Emerging Political Force, diss, Praeger, New York, pp 1 ff.


are in the beginning loose, and many do not feel that they have invested much in the new country. Moreover, foreign residents who have decided to stay may have reasons to feel that the political elections of the host country are not salient for them; in the campaigns, issues of special concern to them are perhaps not discussed, or promises made by the political parties do perhaps not meet their dreams. Fourth, emigration may for some have been an "exit" from politics in their country of origin. They have left the country instead of raising their voice to improve their social conditions. It is then unlikely that they would immediately become active participants in the politics in the new country. Albert Hirschman's Exit-Voice-Loyalty theory, which is of a general character, applicable in many fields of social research, has in this way been applied to international migration and the behavioural modes of migrants by Roger Ko-Chih Tung. 2 Those who have chosen Exit from a country instead of Voice at home cannot be expected to suddenly exhibit a high degree of political commitment and activism in their new country. On the other hand, those who have been forced to leave their country just because of their political activities or ideas may, as refugees, be very active in the country of asylum as well. Fifth, most immigrants are prepared to accept that they as newcomers receive less than a full share of the material goods that are available in the host country; they may accept a less privileged position as immigrants and be politically acquiescent. Only after many years do they begin to think of their stay as lifelong: it is not until then that they begin to raise objections against discrimination and to claim the right to be treated fairly or equally to others of the same occupation, status, and age etc. 3 2. Hirschman, A 0, 1970, Exit Voice Loyalty, Cambridge; Tung, R K-C, 1981, Exit-Voice Catastrophes, Dilemma Between Migration and Participation, Stockholm Studies in Politics 18, Stockholm. 3. Hammar, T, 1981, Varfor iir det sa fa som protesterar? (Why do so few protest?) in K Oberg et al (ed) Att leva med mangfalden, en antologi fran diskrimineringsutredningen, Publica, Stockholm, pp 74 ff.


And then, sixth, when they begin to raise political demands and obviously this start may come early for some people and much later for others - they may find themselves under cross pressure, for there is perhaps no political party in the country of immigration that represents the moral, religious and political values that these migrants have learned to respect in their country of origin. Traditional norms may come in conflict with modern values, and rural manners in conflict with urban ones. Migrants are often employed as workers in urban and industrial immigration societies, and in this respect trade unions and labour parties may represent their interests. But their own interests may be heterogeneous and mixed and to a large extent still influenced by the rural environment in which they have grown up. Caught between old and new, rural and urban, secular and religious, it may be difficult for them to choose and, for instance, decide which of the political parties in the host country they should support. For many years in the beginning of their stay in the host country, the interest of immigrants in politics may be slight for several reasons. As a seventh point, we shall recall here passiveness caused by an insecure residence status, that depend on discretionary prolongation of permits, a point we have developed above. Eighth and last, electoral participation is often a norm and sometimes an obligation for all citizens. Not only the active and interested take part, but also the majority of the less interested. To participate is an expression of a diffuse support to the political system, a feeling of attachment and loyalty to the country or the nation. Immigrants do not have this feeling from the beginning, nor do they feel the pressure of a group norm that they ought to participate. To go to a polling station is not a routine for them, and absolutely not the ritual it may be for regular voters. On the other hand, as long as the legal norm is exclusion from political life, it takes an extra great interest to disobey and go 145

out in some kind of illegal political protest. As long they are denied voting rights, most foreign residents may also abstain from other legal activities: such as joining a political party as a member, attending political meetings, or even talking to neighbours about politics.

Factors that may cause low electoral participation among foreign citizens entitled to vote in local elections: A.

Overrepresentation of persons with characteristics that usually lead to low participation: Young, unmarried, low education, low income, not members of associations, newly arrived


Faulty knowledge of the electoral system, political parties and issues, aggravated by a lack of language ability and social isolation


Low salience of elections and political issues because of plans to return, or no decision to stay. Immigrant issues are not disputed in party politics and do not play a great role in the electoral campaigns


Attachment to the political system is vague or non-existent. No pressure of group norm to participate


Cross-pressure between political values and modes of behaviour from the country of origin and the country of immigration, between traditional and modern, between rural and urban, and between religious and secular

It should again be emphasised that it is especially during the first years that these factors, which reduce the political interest and participation of immigrants, are significant. After some time, several of them may tend to lose their power. As 146

immigrants invest more in the new country, they also stand to lose more by returning to the old country. They learn the language, the manners, and the way of life of their new country even if they still cherish and preserve many traits of the old culture and language and transmit as much as possible to the second generation. With the passing of time, political interest can therefore be expected to grow. But the rate of this growth varies considerably depending on national background, as well as on several individual characteristics of each immigrant. Not least important, it depends on the host country's immigrant policy: its willingness to give immigrants access to political life and to encourage political resocialization. This is not to say that political interest and participation is a result of the level of general integration into the host society - a statement which is often heard - for integration is a far too comprehensive term covering economic, social, cultural as well as political processes. Even if these aspects are all interdependent, integration into one or two of these sectors of the society may be more advanced than integration in others. Furthermore, integration does not always precede political participation, as is often argued. The opposite order is quite as feasible. Since an interest in politics is enhanced by granting the right to participate in political activities, to extend such rights may hasten integration in other, non-political aspects as well. 4 This enumeration of factors that may cause low political interest and participation does not imply that there are no or extremely few immigrants interested in the politics of their new country. On the contrary, many have made use of their political rights and some have even without rights engaged in wild-cat strikes, protests, and demonstrations. And as Mark J Miller has shown these activities have had political 4. Hammar, T, 1987, Integration av invandrare, tcori och curopeisk praxis, in 7:e Nordiska migrationsforskarseminariet (Nordic Migration Research Seminar) at Sigtuna 1986, Slutrapport, pp 41 ff; and Hammar, T, and Lithman, Y, 1987, op cit. 147

effects. However, for a number of reasons, a relatively large number of immigrants have taken little interest in politics and for the most part remained passive. Political Resocialization of Immigrants

Political socialization is usually understood to mean the process through which new members of a political system acquire appropriate attitudes, values and behavioural modes; by "appropriate" is then often meant what is "prevailing" or "normal". Political socialization is thus conceived of as an instrument of maintenance and stability. Political socialization may, however, be understood in other ways, namely not as a mechanism for maintenance and stability, but as one for change, implying that new and sometimes almost opposite values and attitudes are taught to a young generation and perhaps also to older members of the polity. When we define the concept political socialization, we should therefore avoid deciding what is the appropriate content communicated, and only state that it is a learning process that goes on over a long time, usually one's whole lifetime, and that what is learned includes political attitudes, values, and modes of behaviour, or what is sometimes called political culture. 5 Most political systems are continuously in flux, and most of us therefore go through some kind of political resocialization all the time, i.e. a relearning of what we have previously learned. This process of resocialization may become very intense, as for instance, after a war, or a revolution or because of other major changes in the form of government, when old values and modes of behaviour are swept away and a new political culture is to be taught to everyone. Political resocialization is caused in these examples by discontinuities in the political system, but it may also be caused by international migration, i.e. in this respect, migration from one political system to 5. Easton, D, and Dennis, J, 1969, Children in the Political System: Origins of Political Legitimacy, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 47-70.


another. Immigrants will have to learn about politics in the country they settle in, and if they later on re-emigrate back to their country of origin, they will probably have to relearn once again, since both they and their former society will have changed in the meantime. In this process of political resocialization, immigrants learn how politics functions in the new country and they acquire the skills needed for political participation there. When political systems are relatively similar, many things previously learned may be useful, but when there are major differences in political culture, immigrants make an attempt to understand the new system, for example with regard to party preferences, or perceptions of authorities, courts and politicians, by translating it into the terms of the old in which they have gained political experience. Immigrants socialized in one of the socialist people's republics of Eastern Europe, who have learned how to talk to police or other authorities there, may try to use the same style also in a Western host country. And immigrants coming from the Middle East, from South Asia, or from Latin America may all be inclined to think of trade unions, political parties and elections in terms based on their own primary socialization or experience. And of course, the same holds for persons going in the opposite direction. Attitudes and values may be more resistant to change than many of us would believe. Even political refugees who have left their country in protest against prevailing views and ideas are often strongly attached to several values of fundamental importance in this same country. Party preferences are transferred from parties in the emigration countries to similar parties in the immigration countries, and when this does not function or proves to be difficult, the result may be low participation. And political interest and participation may also be transferred from country to country. Those who demonstrate a high level of interest and strong political commitment in the old country usually do not emigrate, but if they for some 149

reason nevertheless do leave their country of origin, they may be expected to take their interest and their active political behaviour with them. 6 Election Systems and Turnout Rates During the last ten years, denizens have taken part in a series of elections in several countries. Our discussion up to now has led us to expect relatively low turnout rates in these elections. But we should perhaps remember that immigrants' political interest may also have been stimulated by the electoral reforms, the new rights that were given, and the new interest in immigrants shown by the political parties. The reforms are in themselves positive signals to immigrants to engage in politics and to voice their demands, and the political parties have stimulated participation by conducting special information campaigns, by nominating immigrant candidates, and by adopting special immigrant platforms. There are in other words, also factors that have tended to increase participation, and especially so in the first election in each country when all these signals were fresh and active. The five Nordic countries have given Nordic citizens voting rights in local and regional elections, and in three of these countries (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) the same rights are granted to all foreign citizens, provided that they have been legal residents for at least three years. In the Netherlands, foreign residents are allowed to vote in local elections after five years of legal residence. The same applies also to two Swiss cantons - Neuchatel where this right goes back to 1849, and Jura where it was given in 1980 when this new canton was first established.? 6. Gitelman, Z, 1982, Becoming Israelis, Political Resocialization of Soviet and American Immigrants, Praeger, New York, p 180; Wilson, P R, 1973, Immigrants and Politics, Australian National University Press, Canberra. 7. Frowein, J A, 1983, Study of Civic Rights of Nationals of Other Member States in Local Public Life, Council of Europe, CDMR, Strasbourg.


Britain has long accepted Commonwealth citizens as voters as soon as they have taken legal residence in the country, and as most Commonwealth immigrants arrived when this rule was still in force, they have enjoyed full political rights from the first year of their residence in Britain. Irish citizens resident in Britain have, as we have seen, a special status: they have full political rights, and they can vote in all political elections. In the Irish Republic, not only British but all foreign residents are allowed to vote in local elections: since 1984 British citizens are in addition allowed to vote in elections to Parliament. In New Zeeland, finally, permanent residents can already after one year take part in all elections, including national elections to Parliament, notwithstanding their citizenship. Election systems have a strong impact on the electoral turnout. In Ireland and in New Zeeland just as in Britain one representative is elected in each constituency with a single majority vote, while the Nordic countries have adopted various forms of proportional representation. We must bear in mind these differences in the election systems when we compare turnout figures country by country. Futhermore, there is unfortunately a lack of official statistics on foreign citizens' political participation, and few empirical studies have been made. Table 7 gives therefore only turnout figures for the first immigrant elections in the Nordic countries, all with proportional representation. 9 In local elections in all the Nordic countries, the turnout of foreign citizens has been considerably below the average for all those entitled to vote: in Sweden in 1976 30 per cent below and in 1985 40 per cent, in Denmark in 1981 12 per cent and in 1985 17 per cent below average, and in Norway in 1983 27 per cent below. This indicates that although both Sweden and Denmark reached a participation level among enfranchised foreigners of about 60 per cent in the first elections, this out9. Frowein, J A, op cit; Tung, R K-C, Voting Rights for Alien Residents Who wants it? In International Migration Review, Fall1985, pp 451-457. 151

come was more of an achievement in Denmark, where average participation among all voters in this election was 73 per cent, than it was in Sweden with a total turnout of about 90 per cent. Table 7

Voting rights and electoral turnout in the first municipal elections

First election

Valid for Citizenship

Electoral turnout

Sweden Denmark ( 1977) Norway (1978) Finland Iceland Netherlands Ireland

1976 1981 1982 1979

60% 61% 46% 56%

1986 1963

Foreign Foreign Foreign Nordic Nordic Foreign Foreign

Neuchatel Jura

1849 1980

Foreign Foreign


New Zeeland


Note: Nordic citizens were granted voting rights in Denmark in 1977 and in Norway in 1978, and four years later, at the time of the following elections, voting rights were extended to all foreign citizens in these two countries.

It is possible that these differences also illustrate an impact of the election systems. In Denmark votes are cast not only for political parties, but at the same time also for individual politicians. When for instance, a Turk is one of the seriously competing candidates, a Turkish voter may give his vote directly to a countryman with a realistic hope that this might help this Turkish candidate to get elected. In some Danish constituencies where this has happened, the turnout has been extraordinary high. The electoral systems in Sweden and Norway 152

do not encourage voting in the same way, for votes are cast for party tickets on which the political parties have already ranked their candidates in an order of precedence. On the day of a Swedish or Norwegian election, an immigrant voter can therefore do nothing to promote the election of his own countryman.10 The relatively high turnout in the 1981 elections in Denmark is somewhat surprising when one considers that there was a lack of political information available in Serbo-Croatian, Turkish and other immigrant languages. In each of the Swedish elections immigrants could vote in, about one million dollars of government money was spent on information about election technicalities as well as about political parties and political issues. Denmark did not follow this example, but nevertheless reached the same level of turnout, and indeed, compared to average turnout, a better result than Sweden. We cannot conclude from this, however, that no information is needed and that the Swedish money was wasted. There might have been other sources of information available, or other factors that brought about an unexpected high turnout in Denmark. 11 In Sweden, unlike the other Nordic countries, all political elections take place on one and the same day, i.e. national, regional, and local elections are held simultaneously, and because of this participation is about equally high in all these elections. Denmark and Norway have separate elections, which tends to reduce the general turnout in the local elections to about 75 per cent, compared to about 90 per cent in Sweden. 12 There are no regional elections in Finland, and in the local elections, which are not held at the same time as the national elections, only Nordic citizens are allowed to vote. Finnish 10. Statistics Denmark, Nyt fra, nr 30 1986, Local elections in 1985. 11. Hammar, T, 1979, pp 51-88. 12. See also discussion below: text in this chapter related to note 19. 153

voters are asked to vote directly for individual candidates, but this takes place, as in Denmark, within a proportional system of representation. Finland has had very little immigration, however, and the number of enfranchised foreign citizens has therefore been very low (only about 1,700 persons). The rate of participation was 56 per cent in the first election, compared to a general participation rate in the same election of 79 per cent. 13 In 1986 foreign citizens with more than five years of residence were entitled to vote in local elections in the Netherlands. But already previously, they had been allowed to vote in elections to neighbourhood councils (deelraden) in Rotterdam (1980) and in Amsterdam (1981). The rate of participation in the first neighbourhood elections had been very low, only 12-20 per cent, but the total turnout in these elections was also low (about 40 per cent). And the level of turnout remained low also in 1986 when immigrants for the first time voted in the elections to the local councils. To some extent this outcome is explained by the fact that many Moroccans obeyed an order from King Hassan II of Morocco to boycott these elections. 14 Participation in British elections is not directly comparable with the elections discussed above, because of the majority vote system, and in part because of the fact that voters are here full citizens and regular voters, and not foreign citizens as in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. If the British voters are to be compared to anything in these other countries, it should be to naturalised citizens. There is, however, very little data about the voting behaviour of naturalised citizens in any country, only some evidence from the Netherlands and from Sweden that those who have become full citizens tend to vote much more than those who are still 13. Rostrattskommitten 1984, pp 103 f. 14. Buijs, F, en Rath, J, 1986, De Stem van Migranten en Werklozen, De Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 19 Maart 1986 te Rotterdam, Leidcn; Rath, J, 1987a, Voting Rights, draft of chapter for Layton-Henry, Z, forthcoming; Rath, J, 1987b, Political Actions of Immigrants in the Netherlands: Class or Ethnicity, unpublished, p 27. 154

foreign residents, but perhaps not quite as much as nativeborn citizens. We should therefore expect a relatively high turnout in Britain, but in fact what has been reported even here is a low rate of participation. 15 In the 1960s, about half of the Commonwealth immigrants in Britain did not enter their names into the Electoral Register, which in Britain does not take place automatically as it is does for instance in the Nordic countries. But by 1983, this situation had changed completely for 79 per cent of the Asian immigrants and 76 per cent of the Mro-Carribbean were now registered, which was only slightly below the average registration of 81 per cent. The actual turnout among those registered has differed greatly from one constituency to another, for it depends in part on how strong the competition is between the candidates. Many seats are considered to be safe for one of the parties, and this may reduce participation, while a very close fight leads instead to a higher rate of activity. The fact that a growing number of candidates have been taken from minority groups in Britain may also have increased electoral participation. 16 Immigrant Elections and Political Participation in Sweden As the first country to give foreign residents voting rights, Sweden has gained most experience, and thanks to a number of studies, more is known about participation in Swedish elections. Swedish data will therefore be used for a more detailed discussion of immigrants' electoral participation. Foreign citizens who have been legal residents in Sweden for three years enjoy voting rights in Sweden and they have been able to avail themselves of these rights in five local and regional elections {1976, 1979, 1982, 1985 and 1988) and in one 15. Hammar, T, 1979, p 128; Rath, J, 1987a. 16. Anwar, M, 1986, Race and Politics, Ethnic Minorities and the British Political System, London; Layton-Henry, Z, forthcoming. 155

referendum (1980). During this period the turnout has gone down from 60 per cent in the first election to 48 per cent in 1985 (table 8)P Table8

Election year 1976 1979 1980* 1982 1985

Foreign citizens entitled to vote and turnout in local elections 1976-1985

Number of foreigners entitled to vote 219,000 228,000 209,000 242,000 244,000

Turnout among foreigners Swedes 59.9% 53.4% 53.4% 52.2% 48.1%

90,5% 89.0% 75.6% 89.6% 88.0%


A national referendum on Swedish nuclear policy in which - by a special decision of the Riksdag - foreign citizens were allowed to vote if entitled to vote in local elections.

The relatively high rate in 1976 has been explained as an effect of the extra publicity and interest caused by this first break-through of a new principle. It was thereafter generally believed that the turnout had stabilized at the 52 per cent level, and even that it perhaps was about to increase again. It therefore came as a bit of a shock when in 1985, the turnout fell again, and when it became clear that this time more than half of the foreign electorate had failed to make use of their voting rights. But no one suggested that the system had failed. Instead, there is in Sweden full agreement that local voting rights for immigrants have been advantageous both to the immigrants themselves and to the implementation of Swedish immigrant policy. 18 17. Rostrattskommitten, SOU 1984:12, pp 37 ff; Hammar, T, and Reinans, S A, 1987, Sopemi report 1985 and 1986, Stockholm, pp 29 ff. 18. Rostrattskommitten, SOU 1984:11, pp 105 ff.


The low and falling turnout could be an indication of frustration and disappointment, and one cause of this might be found in the election system with three simultaneous elections, in which foreign voters only take part in the two least important. The electoral campaigns are dominated by national issues and by national party leaders, and the most important question in the elections is of course which party or parties will form the next national government. We do not know how many immigrants refrain from voting because of the fact that they must not vote in the national elections. But we might dare to make a guess based on comparisons with elections in the other Nordic countries and with the Swedish referendum in 1980. Denmark and Norway hold elections to the Parliament on separate occasions from elections to regional and local councils, while Sweden combines, as we have mentioned, all three elections on one and the same polling day. As a result the Swedish turnout has been brought up to the same high level of about 90 per cent in all three elections. In Denmark and Norway the turnout rates in Parliamentary elections used to be 80-85 per cent, which is only five to ten per cent lower than in Sweden. In the local and regional elections in Denmark and Norway participation is usually 15 to 20 per cent lower than in Swedish local elections (70 - 75 per cent). This suggests that the Swedish turnout rate in local elections would fall if these elections were held separately as they are in the other Nordic countries; but also that the turnout among immigrant voters in Sweden probably has fallen, perhaps about ten per cent, because of the fact that their elections are already "separate". The Swedish referendum of 1980 may also be used as an indicator of the size of this problem. On this occasion, foreign citizens entitled to vote in local elections were allowed to take part in a national referendum which was formally consultative but in practice decisive. Their rate of participation was 53.4 per cent or the same as in the local elections of 1979. Never157

theless, relative to the Swedish voters' turnout, this rate of participation is in fact the highest that foreign voters have achieved in Sweden. The difference between the turnout of Swedish and foreign voters has been around 30 - 40 per cent in all the other local elections, but with an average turnout of about 75 per cent in this referendum, the difference was only 22 per cent. This seems to indicate that the turnout rate for immigrants in Sweden would increase about 10 percent, if foreign citizens were additionally granted voting rights in national elections. 20 The present crisis in electoral participation may also indicate genuine discontent among immigrant voters in Sweden with the political parties. The Social Democratic government has promised to extend voting rights to include national elections, but the party has not been able to realize this intention against strong opposition from the non-socialist parties in Parliament. The constitution must be changed, and this would require a broad consensus, which does not exist at the present time. Frustration may also be based on a feeling that voting rights have not helped to improve the conditions of immigrants, or that far too little has been achieved too slowly. There is further a high proportion of first-time voters in each new election. The number of foreign citizens entitled to vote has been relatively stable, 210,000 to 240,000 persons. But from one election to another a substantial part of this electorate is exchanged. New groups have qualified by staying more than three years in Sweden. Others have left the category of foreign citizens, either by returning to their country of origin, or by naturalisation. In the latter case, they vote as Swedish citizens in all elections, including the national elections to the Riksdag. In 1982, more than 70,000 or 28 per cent were new voters, replacing about the same number of previous voters, and it is likely that those newly arrived were in general less 20. Hammar, T, 1984, Rostberattigade utlandska medborgares valdeltagande, Rostrattskommitten, SOU 1984:12, pp 55 f. 158

active than those they replaced, especially those who had become naturalised. 21 The Swedish electoral register is automatic and reliable, but nevertheless contains some errors, and the number of errors is higher for foreign citizens, because they leave the country more often and perhaps also because they more often forget to report their departure. If foreign residents have not reported that they will re-emigrate (i.e. stay away for more than a year), their names remain in the population register, and they are then also automatically entitled to vote. But if many of these foreigners are not in Sweden on the day of election, this will reduce the turnout among foreign residents. In several interview surveys, it has been found that from 3 to 5 per cent of foreign citizens in the registers cannot be found in Sweden. It is unlikely that they vote from abroad even if this is technically possible.22 Electoral Turnout by Citizenship

In contrast to early predictions that Nordic citizens would take part more actively than immigrants from more distant countries, Finns, Danes and Norwegians have actually participated less than for instance Greek and Yugoslav citizens in all the elections. A stable pattern of considerable differences has been found in studies of all elections with the possible exception of the latest (table 9). Nordic citizens are free to take up work and residence in any Nordic country according to the Nordic labour market agreement, initially from 1954. This right to free movement together with the short geographic distances in Scandinavia 21. Reinans, SA, 1984, Forandringar i den utlandska valmanskaren under aren 1979-1982, Rostriittskommitten, SOU 1984:12, pp 5 ff. 22. Hammar, T, 1984, p 57. In the 1980 census an estimated 12,000 foreign citizens entitled to vote were registered without a private address, which indicates that they probably had left the country without registering their departure. This corresponds to about 5 per cent of the foreign electorate. 159

gives a special character to inter-Nordic m~gration, compared with immigration from the rest of the world. Labour immigration from countries such as Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey was encouraged in the end of the 1960s, but came to a halt in 1972. Since then families have been allowed to reunite for permanent residence in Sweden, but no further import of workers has been permitted. The tendency to return has been higher among those who are not satisfied and not integrated, and perhaps also less interested in participating. A positive selection has thus taken place among labour immigrants from southern Europe: of those remaining in Sweden, a high proportion are satisfied, stable in residence and willing to participate in politics. As the composition of these groups in the country is the result of this kind of positive selection, we should expect higher turnout rates for them. 23 Finns - the largest group among the Nordic citizens - alone account for about 40 per cent of all foreigners entitled to vote. The Finnish population in Sweden is well organized in a network of local associations, professional unions, churches etc. There are daily radio and TV programmes in Finnish, and Finnish is taught to about 30,000 children in Swedish schools. But few Finns are among the really active in Finnish ethnic associations or Swedish associations and politics. And again, the composition of the group of Finnish citizens in Sweden gives at least a partial explanation of this. There are many young unmarried men who work for short periods in Sweden and then return to Finland. These highly mobile Finnish citizens have not invested so much of their lives in their migration to Sweden as have, for instance, Yugoslavs, Greeks and Turks, who need work and residence permits, and who have obtained a status as denizens in Sweden, a status they might lose for good if they were to register out of the country. 24 23. Tung, R K C, 1985, p 456. 24. Hammar, T, 1986, Immigrants and Political Participation and Behaviour, in Themes and Theories in Migration Research, Danish Social Science Research Council, September 1986, Copenhagen, pp 430 ff; and 1979, pp


Table 9

Participation (per cent) in four local elections and in one referendum 1976-1985 by citizenship

Country of citizenship


Local elections Referendum 1979 1982 1985 1980

Greece Germany (BRD) Great Britain

76 67 67

65 64 57

61 61 55

49 59 54

75 73

Yugoslavia Poland Turkey Italy

66 64 63 61

56 59 62 60

52 52 61 58

45 47 54 52


Norway Denmark Finland

59 57 56

54 46 51

52 49 49

49 46 45

67 60 49

USA Others

45 60

45 55

47 56

45 52


Total mean






Note: In 1985 for th~ first time, participation is known also for citizens of Chile (77 per cent) and of Iran (38 per cent).

The downward trend in electoral participation is the same for all the citizenship groups in table 9. For all groups the highest rate was achieved in the first election in 1976 and the lowest in the elections of 1985. Danish, Finnish and US citizens are on all occasions below the average turnout, while Greek, German, British, Turkish and Italian citizens are above. In no other citizenship group has the decrease been so strong as 112 ff; and together with Peura, M, 1984, Swedish-speaking and Finnishspeaking Finns in Stockholm in 1975, Siirtolaisuus Migration 1984:3, Abo, pp 54 ff. 161

among the Greeks, who started in 1976 with the highest turnout of 76 per cent and obtained only 49 per cent in 1985, just above the low average. The Greeks are known for their politicization both in Greece and in exile, and the Greek associations in Sweden have been very active in politics. However, the composition of the group has changed quickly through reemigration to Greece and through naturalisation to Swedish citizenship. Between the elections of 1979 and 1982 40 per cent of the Greek voters disappeared. The decrease in participation came not in 1982 but in 1985, however, when the Greek group had changed even more in size and composition. Among Turkish citizens on the other hand, with low rates of return and naturalisation, the decrease. in electoral participation is less marked.25 Turnout, Social Status and Country of Origin

Only in the first Swedish election in 1976 was a study made of the effects of immigrants' occupational status and unemployment. The participation of unemployed voters was about 13-14 per cent below the average both for Swedish voters and for foreigners entitled to vote. But as registered unemployment is about twice as high among foreign citizens as among Swedes, the effects of this decrease in participation was much greater for them. 26 The social status of foreign citizens can be determined on the basis of both the sending and the receiving countries. The social status of Turkish citizens in Sweden may for instance be said to depend both on their occupation in Sweden (factory worker, dish-washer etc) and on their education and previous occupation in Turkey. In a study of Turks in the city of Stockholm, three subgroups were distinguished: rural uneducated, urban uneducated, and educated. In figure 5 the 25. Reinans, SA, 1984, Rostrattskommitten, SOU 1984:12, pp 5 ff. 26. Hammar, T, 1984, pp 48 f. 162

electoral participation is given for men and for women in these three subgroups.27 Figure 5

Electoral participation among Turkish cztzzens in 1976 in Stockholm according to background in Turkey %


72% n=32

70 65

65% n=31




55 50 45


41% n:::c.J7

0~~------------~------------~-Uneducated village (n = 68)

Uneducated town (n = 91)


(n = 37)

Among well-educated people, both women and men had a high participation rate, but among persons with low education and rural background, men had a very much higher rate of participation than women. The explanation was found in the electoral patterns in Anatolia in rural Turkey and in cities like Istanbul and Ankara, for Turkish men in Stockholm acted as they had been used to before their emigration. Men with a rural background met and decided on a collective choice, which was first of all the men's choice. The number of unmarried women who abstained from voting was particularly high. Electoral behaviour was in this case modelled on political life in Turkey. Political socialization there had been 27. Alpay, S, 1981, Turkar i Stockholm, diss, Stockholm, p 209. 163

internalized into values and modes of behaviour that remained in active use, at least in the first election in the new country. This figure clearly tells us that both socio-economic status in the country of origin and political behaviour, learnt there before emigration, may play a role in forming the behaviour of immigrants in the elections of the host country. In this Turkish case the impact is strong enough to be directly visible: in other cases it may instead be hidden by many other factors influencing electoral behaviour. Women's Participation In all the Swedish elections since 1976, women have taken part more than men, and the difference in participation has increased from 1.6 per cent in 1976 to about 6 per cent in 1982 and 1985 (table 10). Only among Turks have men constantly had higher turnout than women, but the difference has almost vanished. 28 Most people expected that the difference between women and men in several of the groups would resemble that of the Turkish group in 1976, but it did not. There are several possible explanations for this. Women are first of all less mobile and more likely to stay permanently in the country of immigration. Furthermore, many are gainfully employed and earning their own money for the first time. Their position has changed, and in some respects improved. Some are also influenced by emancipatory trends in Scandinavia. Despite the great strain that life means to many immigrant women, several among them are relatively satisfied to be in Sweden. It is however likely that their high participation in elections is a consequence of the fact that many more immigrant women are married to Swedish men, than immigrant men are to Swedish women. 28. Hammar, T, 1984, pp 44 ff; Statistics Sweden.


Table 10 Sex differences in turnout in local elections (female minus male participation)

Country of citizenship





Greece Germany (FRG) Britain Yugoslavia Poland Turkey

0% + 2% -2% + 2% +14% -16%

+ 2% 0% + 8% + 2% +13% -2%

+ 4% + 2% + 2% + 6% +19% -2%

+ 3% + 3% + 8% + 5% +14% -1%

Norway Denmark Finland

+ 5% + 3% + 2%

+ 5% + 4% + 7%

+ 3% + 4% +10%

+ 6% + 8% + 9%

USA Others

-10% + 2%

+ 3% 0%

+ 2% + 6%

+ 3% + 3%






Concluding Evaluation

Compared to the turnout among regular voters, the rate of participation among foreign voters has been relatively low, not so low perhaps that the reform could be said to be a failure and a mistake, but much lower than what was hoped for or expected. Full participation is impeded by a series of hindrances that cannot be simply removed inasmuch as they follow from the composition of the immigrant groups or from their situation as temporary migrants in the host society. Furthermore, in each new election, a large part of the foreign electorate is lost because of re-migration and naturalisation, and replaced by inexperienced, newly enfranchised, first-time 165

voters. Under these circumstances, a lower participation rate seems unavoidable. In the Swedish case, the exclusion of foreign residents from national elections may be more dramatic than in other countries, since local and national elections take place simultaneously. But similar negative effects may occur also elsewhere. It has been said that local elections are not only important to foreign residents and their families, but indeed that these elections are more significant for them than other elections. It is namely at the local level that such matters as housing, schooling, day-care for children, and other questions of importance to their immediate neighbourhood are decided. However, even if the distribution of power between central and local levels differs from country to country, national elections can probably nowhere be classified as less important than local elections. The idea that local elections are the most significant ones to foreign voters seems therefore to be a rationalization resorted to, in order to defend a policy that is adopted for other reasons - national security, foreign policy and international relations. We must in a final chapter return to the problem that partial voting rights and partial political rights may give foreign residents an increasing appetite for more rights. Initially, the introduction of local voting rights probably awakened political interest among foreign residents, but with time it may have led to a frustration and disappointment which may again have reduced the rate of participation. It has been a major worry in several countries that political divisions and conflicts would be imported from the countries of origin. Representatives of political parties have expressed a fear that some kind of special immigrant parties would emerge. Some attempts, none of major importance, have also been made to introduce such parties, but without success. Everywhere the traditional political parties have been able to integrate the new voters. But on the other hand some parties 166

have been more than others inclined to invite foreign citizens to vote for them, join their ranks, nominate candidates from immigrant groups, and represent them in local councils. On most political issues, immigrants share the interests of most other voters, with regard for instance to employment, taxes, income etc. But there are also special immigrant issues, concerning for example minority education, immigrant associations, ethnic culture and religion. The culture of the country of origin, including the political culture, plays a major role for immigrants during a very long time after arrival in the host country, and there is often a strong desire in the groups to extend this period as far as they can, to preserve and develop their original culture in the new country, and also to share this culture with their children. In the Nordic countries, and in the Netherlands, minority culture and minority interests have been encouraged and supported by public means, but they have been represented by immigrant associations or churches, and not by special immigrant parties. The fear that foreign political conflicts will be imported may be more justified in immigration countries that have excluded foreign residents from politics for very long periods. Told that they must not interfere in politics of the country, foreign residents may tend to take more interest in politics of the countries they came from. The divisions within these countries may then be reproduced in associations and churches in the new country. Here as in other social fields, exclusion and separation tend to hinder integration and to encourage minority culture and minority politics, which in itself may be very valuable, but which also may involve risks for new political conflicts. The paradox is that the early admittance of immigrants to the political system seems to lead to low participation, few conflicts and little change in the traditional party system, while late admittance may give rise to higher participation and more conflicts along the lines of external, imported issues. 167

Finally, we have also seen that the nature of the election system has an impact on the rate of participation and also on the nomination of candidates. Within the proportional system of representation, foreign voters are more inclined to participate when they have an opportunity to vote for one individual candidate, and then of course especially if they can vote for a countryman. On the other hand, in the majority-vote system, which involves voting for one person, minority groups are at the great disadvantage that their members are seldom attractive candidates since in most constituencies they only represent a minor part of the electorate. It is therefore more difficult for minority groups to be fairly represented for instance in Britain, than in the Nordic countries where several candidates are elected in each constituency and where party tickets are used to decide in what order the candidates will be elected. The Danish combination of proportional representation and voting for individual candid31tes may have other disadvantages, but it seems best to meet the requirements of immigrants as voters in local elections.



Voting Rights for Denizens

Around 1979-1981, the prospects for electoral reform seemed to be good in many European immigration countries. All the Nordic countries had by then already changed their electoral laws, and Denmark and Norway were about to extend voting rights, already given Nordic citizens in local elections, to all foreign citizens. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the federal government's commissioner on immigrant issues, Heinz Kiihn, had in 1979 published the first consistent programme for an integration policy, recommending among other things local voting rights. In the Netherlands, a reform was under way, a necessary amendment of the constitution was being prepared and a bill amending the electoral law was expected thereafter .1 A sympathetic interest in immigrants' political participation and voting rights was also expressed in the Council of Europe during this period. In a conference in Madrid in May 1980, the European Ministers responsible for local government recommended the Council of Europe to study the possibility of drafting a mulitlateral instrument defining minimum civic 1. Kiihn, H, 1979, Memorandum des Ausliinderbeauftragten der Bundesregierung iiber Stand und Weiterentwicklung dcr Integration ausliindischcr Arbeitsnehmer und ihrer Familien in der Bundesrep. Deutschland, September 1979; Rath, J, Voting Rights of Immigrants, in Layton-Henry, Z, 1989 (forthcoming); Hammar, T, 1985, pp 74 and 183.


rights in local public life, including the right to vote and stand for election. These rights should be valid for citizens of any one of the 21 member states of the Council of Europe living in another member state. A recommendation was further given to governments of those member states that had already granted voting rights to citizens of some countries, to extend this right to citizens of other member states as well. 2 In the French presidential election of 1981, an electoral reform was promised by the socialist candidate Fran~ois Mitterand. But after his election, the socialist government soon made clear that there would be no reform. The resistance - sometimes even hostile - against giving immigrants political rights was considered to be much too strong. 3 A change in attitude had set in and not only in France. Some Social-Democrats in the Federal Republic of Germany who had been actively promoting reform proposals now found that resistance had increased, even within their own party. Only the Green party did not hesitate to support the idea. The CDU and the CSU, which had been definitely against it all the time, formed a coalition government in 1982 together with the small liberal FDP, which in principle still favoured reform but in practice did little to promote the cause. 4 In the Netherlands, the proposed electoral reform was carried out as expected, however, and in 1986 foreign citizens for the first time voted in local elections; but no futher extention of voting rights occurred. In Sweden, proposals made in 1984 to grant Nordic citizens voting rights in national elections were stopped even before a bill was presented, by declarations from the three non-socialist parties in Parliament that they would 2. Ozsunay, E, 1983, pp 42 f. 3. Verbunt, G, chapter on France, in Hammar, T, 1985, pp 152 f, Withol de Wenden, C, 1984, The Evolution of French Recent Immigration Policy, A Political Approach, Document de Travail 6, G RAMI. 4. Keskin, H, ed, 1984, Menschen ohne Rechte?, pp 16 and 112 ff.


strongly oppose such an extension, and even demand a referendum on the required amendment of the constitution. 5 In the middle of the 1980s, the optimism had almost completely disappeared, and the hopes for a rather quick solution to the problems of representation and political participation of large populations of denizens seemed to be dashed. Even the debate had faltered. The vaguely favourable statements made by the European Ministers in 1980 were not repeated when they met again in May 1987.6 Late in 1985, however, the European Parliament came out in favour of voting rigths in local elections for citizens of member states living in another member state. In October 1986, the EEC Commission published a report on voting rights, which showed that more than 4 million citizens of member states in this way were disenfranchised in local elections. The Commission considered local voting rights to be "consistent with the logic of a People's Europe" and asked the European Parliament for a clear political signal to go ahead.? A revival of this issue occurred in the Federal Republic of Germany, and particularly in Hamburg and Berlin in the summer of 1987, and in February 1989 for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany two "Lander", Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, decided to give foreign citizens voting rights in local elections. Schleswig-Holstein after five years of residence and only to citizens of countries that gave the same rights to German citizens, Hamburg after eight years and to all foreign citizens. Strong negative reactions came directly from the Federal Government which immediately stated its intention to go to the Constitutional Court. 5. Hammar, T, 1986, Swedish Sopemi report. 6. Draft conclusions MMG-3 (87) 22. 7. Commission of the European Communities, 1987, Voting rights in local elections for community nationals. Bulletin of the European Communities. Supplement 7/86.


Obstacles to Electoral Reform There are many reasons for the changes in policy attitudes that have taken place in Europe, and some are more obvious than others. It is now more than 15 years since the recruitment of foreign labour came to an end. The level of unemployment has been unusually high during an extraordinary long period of time in several countries. Immigration has not been insignificant, however, because of family and refugee immigration. Increasingly, immigrants are coming from countries outside Europe, and if immigration regulations were not strict and tough, it is estimated that this immigration would increase to considerable proportions. Western European states are looking for the best ways to deal with those asylum-seekers who are not genuine refugees as well as with others who are illegal immigrants. At the same time racism and antiimmigrant attitudes are openly professed not only by small groups of little importance, but also by reputed politicians and political parties, representing up to about 10 per cent of the electorate. The success of Jean-Marie Le Pen in elections to the European Parliament in 1984 is only one prominent example. Norwegian and especially Danish populistic and xenophobic parties have also been successful, and in 1989 radical right-wing parties in regional elections in Berlin and Hessen gained unexpected support.8 But a more direct explanation to the changes in attitudes may also be advanced. By the end of the 1970s, voting rights had already been granted in those countries where the conditions were in general favourable. To take the same decision in the Federal Republic of Germany or in France was for several reasons much more difficult than it had been, for instance, in the Nordic countries. Owing to the great number of foreign residents in France and Germany, the consequences of an electoral reform would be much more far-reaching, especially in municipalities with a high concentration of immigrants. In 8. OECD 1987, Sopemi synthesis report for 1986.


each of these two countries the electorate would increase by about two million voters, and in some large city constituencies these new voters would make up between 30 and 50 per cent of the electorate. Major political implications of an electoral reform were expected in the short as well as in the long run, and these implications were indeed very difficult to predict. 9 But even more important is probably the close relationship between a country's immigration policy and its decisions with regard to an electoral reform of this kind. The Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Britain have all adopted a policy aiming at permanent immigration, accepting that most immigrants will be staying for good, and that they are not temporary foreign workers but immigrants in the proper sense of the word. The Federal Republic of Germany and several other countries, like Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, have not acknowledged this fact. In their policy statements they maintain that many foreign residents will return to their country of origin, and that the low level of integration is to a large degree due to a lack of interest among immigrants. However, as we now know, most foreign citizens in these countries are no longer in this temporary position. The Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland tacitly admit this fact when they increasingly issue permanent residence permits to foreign citizens, and thereby make them denizens. The point made here is that countries that officially give foreign citizens a guaranteed legal status are also more inclined to accept their political participation. This is true of those countries that gave voting rights in the 1970s as well as of the Netherlands. In the old "guest-worker" countries on the other hand, immigration policy either remains unchanged or has at best become ambiguous: the declared aim is not longterm integration, based on a right to stay permanently, but nontheless various kinds of transitional arrangements are 9. Frey, M and Lubinsky, V, 1987, Probleme infolge hoher Ausliinderkonzentration in ausgewiihlten europiiischen Staaten. Bundesinstitut fUr Bevolkerungsforschung Wiesbaden, pp 57 ff. 173

made to improve living conditions and above all the legal status of immigrants, all of which in fact implies that integration has come to be more and more accepted and expected. 10 It is difficult to predict whether voting rights will be granted in the Federal Republic of Germany and in France, and if so, when. But the demands for political representation will probably be voiced even more loudly in the future by the members of the foreign populations who are now excluded; and their demands will grow stronger, the more secure they feel in their residential status and the more integrated they actually become. At the same time, demands for voting rights may indicate a wish to be integrated, while on the other hand a decided refusal may be a message from the host society that integration is not wanted. By purpose or by accident, excluding immigrants from politics may even promote an outcome that is preferred by the host country, namely segregation and in the long run, perhaps the return of immigrants to their country of origin. The great risk is that this policy may also lead to serious conflicts, based on ethnicity, race or origin. When the decision to grant local voting rights was taken in Sweden in 1975, it came as a surprise even to the most initiated politicians and immigrant leaders. And some similar sudden policy change may of course take place in other countries. A short time before the Swedish decision, a public opinion poll had shown that a majority of Swedes were against voting rights for immigrants. But new polls taken after the decision demonstrated that the majority had quickly changed. Public opinion had been easily influenced by the new position adopted unanimously by the political parties. What this tells us is only that the Swedish public was probably not very concerned, but left the decision to the politicians and the experts. If this is also true in other countries, changes may come there too, and come suddenly. 11 10. Official Report on the FRG to the OECD Conference on the Future of Migration, May 1986. 11. Hammar, T, 1979, Det fOrsta invandrarvalet, Stockholm, pp 35 ff. 174

Political parties are especially alert to all proposals to amend electoral laws, and proposals to give voting rights to new groups are definitely no exception to this rule. Parties to the left usually gain, while parties to the right usually lose on the enfranchisement of immigrants. And as reform proposals come most of the time from the left, it has often been said that leftist parties only want to get votes, while the others only want to prevent this. When an amendment requires a broad majority, for instance, for a change of the constitution, this division between parties to the left and to the right may be an insurmountable barrier. As international migration in the 1960s and early 1970s was mainly labour migration, the majority of the foreign populations are workers in industry and the service sector. In some countries and some municipalities - and Switzerland may be a good example here, since foreign citizens make up more than 23 per cent of the Swiss working force (in 1982) -workers in general are not fairly represented, as long as the foreign blue collar workers are not given votes, and the right to stand for election. Voting is only partially decided on the basis of occupation or class, however, and there is little evidence that party preferences among foreign voters are more influenced by class than they are among voters in generai. 12

Reform bills have usually been presented by Social-Democratic governments, but there are many Social-Democrats who oppose voting rights for immigrants. The Social-Democratic governments in the Federal Republic of Germany up to 1982 did not turn Kuhn's idea into a bill to the Federal Parliament, although the party had promised at a number of conferences to work for a reform. The German Federation of Metalworkers (the IG-Metall) favoured it, but the German Trade Union Council (the DGB) did not. Resistance was also strong within the Social-Democratic Party and the labour movement. The Communist party in France came during one period out 12. Frey, M and Lubinsky, V, 1987, p 84. 175

against voting rights for immigrants. And also in Sweden, where the reform bill was presented by a Social-Democratic government, there was strong opposition within the party before the decision was taken, because of the problems that a reform would cause to the principle that elections at all levels should be coordinated and simultaneous. 13 Even if it is generally true that reforms of this kind are usually proposed by the left, several reservations are therefore needed. The division between supporters and opponents does not strictly follow regular party and bloc lines. In all countries some trade unions, some voluntary associations, churches, welfare institutions working for immigrants, and all kinds of immigration experts, both jurists and social workers etc., have come out in favour of voting rights. An evaluation of the Swedish reform leads to the conclusion that the immigrants themselves and their associations have not played a decisive role, and that the interest of the political parties was long rather tepid, but that the real spokesmen for voting rights were a number of well-placed politicians and experts with a special interest in immigrants and immigration policy. These spokesmen were successful, only because of the fact that other people did not bother too much about such a minor policy issue as this. The policies of such a reform may be quite different in countries where there is much more at stake, because of the size of the foreign population and because of the conflicts involved. 14 Constitutional Obstacles to a Reform

In some countries foreign citizens cannot be given voting rights without an amendment of the constitution, and this may involve obstacles that are hard to overcome. The extension of political rights becomes more a legal than a political issue, and if the constitution is rigid, it may be left to the courts to 13. Raat, J, 1987b. 14. Hammar, T, 1979, pp 25 ff. 176

interpret whether the constitution allows voting rights for aliens in national elections, in local elections only, or not at all. The recent decision of the Parliament of the German Land Hamburg to grant its foreign residents voting rights is a case in point. At the time of writing, it is expected that an appeal will be made to the courts, which could find the decision unconstitutional and therefore that it is null and void. In the end, the case can be brought before the highest constitutional court in the Federal Republic of Germany at Karlsruhe. So far, no court has given its verdict, and only a number of German law experts have pronounced their opinions. The majority view seems to be that national voting rights are not, and local voting rights are probably not either, in congruence with the present constitution, the Basic Law of the Federal Republic. A strong minority holds the opposite view, and hopes for an acceptance of at least local voting rights. The Basic Law refers to the "Yolk" or the "German Yolk" (people or nation) as the source of the state's political power. But "Yolk" is not defined. According to the traditional interpretation "Yolk" is equivalent with the sum of the state's citizens, but when the Basic Law was drafted, there were no discussions about voting rights for foreign citizens, and therefore no need to make clear whether denizens might be considered members of the "Yolk". The notion of citizen is, as we have seen, problematic in the Federal Republic, not least because of the division of Germany into two states. This division is not fully accepted by the Federal Republic, as long as it recognizes members of the German nation as formal citizens as soon as they take up residence on the Republic's territory. In other words, domicile plus a native membership of the German nation immediately leads to a formal citizenship in the Federal Republic of Germany, while several decades of residence without this membership of the nation does not. The division of Germany 177

in combination with the rigid Basic Law seems to be the most serious impediment to a national reform, and perhaps also to a local one. 15 There were no such legal and constitutional obstacles in the Scandinavian countries. The electorate in local elections was here defined only in the electoral laws, and did not require amendments to the constitutions. But when the SocialDemocratic Government abstained from presenting a bill on . national voting rights in 1985, the reason was that this extension would require a change of the constitution. In fact, this constitution begins with the statement that "all political power in Sweden emanates from the people". And in Sweden as in the Federal Republic of Germany, the term "people" has not been discussed or defined more precisely. According to the majority opinion in the 1983 Voting Rights Commission, the quoted statement should be read as a declaration that this principle, fundamental to democracy, should prevail. And the conclusion could therefore be drawn that domiciled foreign citizens formed part of the "people" and should have voting rights in national elections as well. The Commission suggested that only one article in the constitution should be changed, namely the one defining the electorate. It says: "Swedish citizens domiciled in Sweden have voting rights in elections to the Riksdag". To this sentence should according to the majority opinion be added that "voting rights for Swedish citizens domiciled abroad and for foreign citizens with at least two years domicile in Sweden are given by law." 16 It is interesting to note here first of all the majority opinion that the word "people" in the constitution could be read as equivalent to the resident or domiciled population. A sharp protest came from representatives of the three non-socialist parties in the Committee, who together wrote a dissenting 15. Franz, F, 1984, Kommunales Wahlrecht fiir Einwanderer, in H Keskin, ed, 1984, pp 27 ff; Birkenheier, M, 1976, Wahlrecht fiir Auslander. Zugleich ein Beitrag zum Volksbegriff des Grundgesetzes. Berlin, pp 23 ff. 16. Rostrattskommitten, SOU 1984:11, pp 163 f. 178

opinion. With several historic examples, they showed that the long struggle for democracy during the 19th century was based on the idea of citizenship, inspired in part by the Declaration of Rights of 1789. The reason why no attempt had been previously made to define the term "people" used in the constitution was, they maintained, that its meaning was obvious to everyone. 17 This historic argument is undoubtedly correct. The interpretation given by the majority was new, and did not follow from historic ideas, nor from the preambles of previous legislation. Nevertheless, the minority missed one important point in the majority statement, namely the democratic principle of representation of the people, a principle that was indeed fundamental during the struggle for democracy. The difference between the two sides in this dispute lies in the relative weight they give to domicile on the one hand, emphasized by the majority, and formal citizenship on the other hand, emphasized by the minority. We will return to this discussion of the domicile principle in the two final chapters. The Federal Republic of Germany, where a rigid constitution is one of the major obstacles to an electoral reform, and Sweden, where local voting rights but not national ones could be introduced without constitutional amendments - these two have been used here as examples. But of course legal and constitutional aspects play a major role also in several other countries. In the Netherlands, an amendment necessary for the local reform was included as part of a more general revision of the constitution, and this may have facilitated the procedure. During the 1980s, the reform has come to a standstill, and pessimism has spread among reform proponents in Europe. The countries that had already granted voting rights, did not extend them further. Reform had been possible in these countries partly because it required no constitutional amend17. Ibid, pp 235 f. 179

ment and because it was consistent with the policy of the country to welcome or accept permanent immigration. The other countries were strong in their resistance both because of their immigration policy and for constitutional reasons. And they were of course not very much influenced by the glowing reports of the relative success of the reforms in several other countries. Evaluations of the First Elections

We have already seen that a relatively low and declining turnout among immigrant voters in Swedish elections has been interpreted as an indication of desillusionment and frustration. The new voters had hoped for more than they actually achieved. Their new political rights had not enabled them to make enough of an impact on their standard of living, on their children's education or their own status position in the host country. In evaluating the results of the first elections, we must ask what grounds there are for this disappointment, whether the new electorate has succeeded in electing its own representatives, and if their demands and opinions have been considered in the local councils. No easy answers are available to us, but several indications of change can be found. First of all, many immigrants or persons with an immigrant background of the first or second generation have been elected to political office. Some are foreign citizens, but the majority are naturalised citizens, born in emigration countries. They are regarded as representatives of minority groups since they are still members of these groups, speak their language etc. The representation may be small in the beginning, and it may take some time before it takes on reasonable proportions~ As we have noted, it may be easier to be nominated and elected as a minority candidate in a country with proportional representation than in a country with a majority-vote system. But even in Sweden, the number of 180

elected immigrants has not reached a level that corresponds to the size of the electorate (table 11). 18 Table 11 Foreign citizens and foreign-born persons elected in general elections in Sweden 1979-1985

Elected to Parliament Regional council Local council

Foreign-born 1979 1982 1985 1985

Foreign citizens 1979 1982 1985 1985 n











89 101













490 528 569

Data are not available from the first election in 1976, but the trend from the following three elctions is clear. The number of elected candidates has grown slowly: in 1985 there were 569 foreign-born candidates elected to local councils or 4.2 per cent of all elected councillors. Of these only 101 or 0.8 per cent were foreign citizens, however. This can be compared to a proportion of 3.8 per cent foreign citizens in the electorate, and about twice as many if we include also naturalised foreign-born voters. What is found after this series of elections in Sweden is therefore a representation which is reasonably good but far from proportional to the new electorate. To this we should add that elected candidates are mostly naturalised citizens, well integrated after a long stay in the country. As most of them represent the oldest and largest immigrant groups, there are many more Finnish politicians in Swedish municipa18. Hammar, T, 1982, Invandrarkandidater i 1979 ars kommunala val, Stockholm; and Hammar, T, and Reinans, SA, 1987, Swedish Sopemi report, pp 31 ff. 181

lities than there are politicians from southern Europe. While Nordic immigration in the 1980s has been only around 30 per cent of the total, half of all elected in 1985 were Finns and another 20 per cent were from Denmark and Norway. A small number of immigrant candidates have also been elected in Denmark (3 in 1981 and in 1985) and Norway. In the Netherlands the first local election in which foreign citizens could vote took place in 1986, but already in the preceding election in 1982 there had been 45 naturalised immigrant candidates among the total of about 60,000. The reform tripled the number of candidates to about 150, and instead of 7 elected in 1982, 48 were elected in 1986. Compared to the Swedish results these figures are relatively low, but they all show the first important result of the electoral reforms, namely that the political parties in Scandinavia and in the Netherlands have increased their efforts to find representatives for the new immigrant electorate. A new group of voters had to be met with a new set of candidates or else other parties would take the new votes. And some parties have made extra efforts in the belief that they had the best chance to win immigrant votes, while other parties with less hope have done what they could not to lose too much. There are reports from several political parties that the reform has led to a direct search for immigrants willing to be nominated as candidates. 19 It is more difficult to know to what extent this new representation has also had an impact on political decisions and especially on the municipalities' immigrant policy. No empirical studies have followed the new immigrant politicians' daily political work, to see if they have been able to influence the local immigration policy: what proposals they have made, which debates they have initiated or participated in, their work within the local parties as well as in the local councils etc. No evaluation of this reform can be complete without this 19. Rath, J, 1987a, p 32. 182

kind of research, but it is true that there are still many other indirect effects of the reform that would not come out of such studies, effects of which we nevertheless have some knowledge.20 One of the major objectives of this electoral reform has been to increase the political parties' interest in immigrants and in immigration policy. Competing for votes, they must pay attention to immigrants' needs and opinions. Special items have been included in party platforms, programmes have been translated, promises made etc. And this tends to increase the interest for politics and for the parties among immigrant voters. The very fact of being enfranchised changes the attitude of many previously excluded. The new political rights, taken seriously, require a knowledge of parties and issues that many did not have and perhaps did not care to get, as long as they were not allowed to participate. Immigrant associations have changed their relationship to parties when many of their members have become voters or even as voters have joined the parties as members. But it is uncertain whether this also implies that local immigrant policy thereby becomes more attuned to immigrants' interests in the municipalities where immigrant politicians work. There are many competing interests, and if employment, housing, and education for immigrants have not been improved, there may be other reasons for this, reasons, such as general austerity, that have nothing to do with the electoral reform. When most problems are the same as before, and daily life has not changed as much as some might have hoped, it is not surprising that many immigrants feel somewhat disappointed with the reform. Nevertheless, the positive aspects outweigh the negative, and they include, as we have seen here, mainly the parties' increased interest in immigrant politics, and the immigrants' 20. Hammar, T, 1979, pp 164 ff; Hammar, T, 1981, Article in E Hamberg and T Hammar, eds, Invandringcn och framtiden, Stockholm.


new interest in the parties. The integration of excluded groups into political life has also led to improvements in their general integration into the new society. The main negative effect, on the other hand, may be said to be the low electoral turnout, and even if our many attempts to explain this low participation are valid, results such as those in the latest Swedish election, when less than half of those entitled to vote actually voted, are hardly acceptable in the long run. Voting Rights also in National Elections

Of great interest to our evaluation of local voting rights for denizens are also the arguments for and against voting rights in national elections. There is opposition to such a reform even in the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands, which have successfully introduced local voting rights. And in other countries it is sometimes said that you can not give local voting rights, for if you do, you will afterwards have to accept national voting rights as well. The reasons for granting immigrants local and national voting rights are of course fundamentally the same. But there are important differences between these two levels of politics, differences which may be seen as decisive reasons to oppose national voting rights. Local politics are concerned with matters of an immediate and substantial interest to immigrants in their own neighbourhood, and even if national politics also have a strong impact on these matters, they deal with political issues of longer duration and of more fundamental importance, including foreign policy, national security, and defence. It is argued that only citizens should be allowed to take part in decisions of this kind, and especially, only citizens should be eligible to sit in the national Parliament, where foreign policy and security issues are decided. And as passive and active electoral rights always should go together, those who cannot be elected should not have the right to vote either. 184

The arguments against voting rights in national elections may be summarized under three headings: 1. continuity in the political system, 2. national security and defence, and 3. double voting rights and eligibility. All these three can be evaluated differently, however. Continuity is required by the state's long term interests, and it may be said that persons who will not remain in the country and do not share these interests, should therefore not be entitled to vote. Immigrants and foreign residents are often among those who plan to leave in the future, and if they do not, i.e. if they have definitely decided to stay, they should ask for naturalisation. In answer to this it may be said that many foreign residents have obtained a permanent residence status and are denizens. They may have good reasons for not becoming naturalised citizens, although they have decided to stay on for good, and their decision not to seek citizenship does not necessarily indicate a lack of attachment or loyalty. It should be asked, however, how far their reasons for not becoming citizens can be accepted, given the state's interests in continuity and in - our next point- national security. Security risks might be involved if foreign citizens were made eligible to the national Parliament. As members of Parliament they would have access to secret information and take part in deliberations and decisions of great importance to the state's security and defence. Members of Parliament should be citizens, for this means that their rights and obligations are to this particular state and not to any other state, that could try to exert pressure on them. But this argument applies also to dual citizens, and few states have excluded them from eligibility or from voting rights to the national Parliament, although they might also be security risks because of their other or second citizenship. 185

In theory, stricter conditions for eligibility and perhaps also for voting rights could be suggested. Dual citizens could be excluded since many of them also have dual attachments and ties. Furthermore, the same is to some extent also true of naturalised citizens, and the security argument would then lead us to conclude that only native citizens should be allowed to vote and be elected to the Parliament. But no such proposals have been put forward. As a matter of fact, security risks might emerge in all categories, even among citizens born in the country. It is therefore far from enough to make formal status as citizens, dual citizens, denizens, or foreign citizens the basis of judgements about who is a security risk and who is not. Formal criteria must of course be used, but in such a way that national security is protected without unnecessary exclusion of trustworthy people. A number of dual citizens and denizens in Europe can now vote in elections in two countries. Some countries require a personal appearance in the country, while others accept voting by mail or at their embassies etc. Many practical obstacles tend to reduce participation in elections from "abroad", and nowhere the political implications of double voting rights seem to be very significant. Now and then the question is raised whether double voting rights are acceptable, and some argue that it is unfair that some can vote in more than one country, while others reply that it does not matter much as long as they have just one vote in each election. In the Nordic countries the solution is at present to give local voting rights according to domicile, and to let national voting rights follow citizenship. As mentioned before, it is in theory conceivable that a politician may be simultaneously elected to two national parliaments. In most countries, however, politics has become a fulltime job and it is nowadays in practice impossible to function as a member of two national parliaments. Double voting rights and eligibility may be a matter of principle more than a prac186

tical problem, and again it is through naturalisation that we expect loyalty and identification to be demonstrated. We have repeatedly mentioned, however, that naturalisation is not an easy choice, and that most people do not feel free to seek naturalisation in order to get political rights. The general question that we are confronted with here is therefore where denizens should vote: in their country of citizenship or in their country of domicile. Those who answer that it is in the country of citizenship emphasize origin, nation, and citizenship, while those who answer domicile instead think of neighbourhood, working place, residential area and of representation in decision-making about tax money paid to the municipality or to the state. The former answer is according to the nationality principle, and the latter follows the democratic principle. Most of us want to realize both, but we attach somewhat different values to them, and therefore arrive at different conclusions. We shall, summarizing our discussions, make an attempt to give some recommendations to solve this policy dilemma.




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PART 4 Concluding and Normative Discussion



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Two Models Based on Domicile

Two sets of questions intersect in this study: first questions about naturalisation policies and the propensity of denizens to apply for naturalisation; and second questions about denizens' political rights and political representation. These questions are highly relevant to Western Europe in the end of the 1980s, for during the last few years about two thirds of 10 to 12 million foreign citizens have achieved an improved residence status as denizens. We have invented this name for them in the hope that this would make it easier to distinguish this hardly visible category from all other foreign citizens and to draw attention to their special position. We have started from the assumption that a long-lasting and effective legal domicile has a number of highly significant consequences for individual residents as well as for their relationship to the state and the society. The places where people work and spend their leisure time, where they are housed, and where their children play and go to school etc., give rise to a multitude of contacts and ties, activities, hopes and attitudes. People become, as we have previously called it, members of several sub-sets of the society: the labour force, the working place, the housing area, the parents' -teachers' -association etc. An informal and "internal citizenship" evolves and may reach a high level of intensity. But without formal and "external citizenship", acquired by naturalisation, internal members are excluded from political rights and participation. 191

Domicile is, in other words, of great importance for the real or de facto relationship between individual residents and the state they live in, and this is of course the reason why a long period of residence used to be a prerequisite for naturalisation. A domicile principle is, to take another relevant example, also inherent in most electoral laws, which usually require that voters and candidates have their domicile in the country or constituency. And when local voting rights are given to foreign citizens in some countries, a certain period of residence is required. The dilemma that we discuss in this study could be described as a lack of congruence between formal citizenship and the informal membership which results from long periods of residence. In this chapter and in the next we shall sum up our discussion of the two alternative ways in which this lack of congruence could be overcome: through increased naturalisation or through an extention of political rights to denizens who have had their domicile in the country for a long time. We shaH discuss two theoretical and in themselves unrealistic or pure models based on domicile, a naturalisation model and a political rights model, and our purpose is to clarify the alternative options and their consequences. But we shall first say a few words about residence and domicile, for although we have referred to these concepts throughout this book, we have so far made no attempt to define them. We have talked about legal residence, based on a permit of some kind, and in contrast to illegal immigration. Furthermore, we have often mentioned long periods of residence without discussing from what day we wish to count them. Residence and Domicile As the legal terms domicile, residence, habitual residence etc.

originate in different countries' legal systems, they are not defined and interpreted in the same way everywhere. Furthermore they are mainly used in other legal contexts than 192

those we discuss here, for instance in connection with questions related to a census, taxation, and social security or social benefits. The purpose of them is to determine in what region, city or town etc a person habitually and effectively lives, and it does not matter whether this person is a citizen of the country or not. The same rules apply in both cases. Similarly, on the basis of domicile, courts and authorities have to examine whether they are competent to decide in a case, and perhaps also which national legislation should be applied. Attempts have been made to standardize the general principles concerning domicile and residence, and when in 1972 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recommended rules for the interpretation of these terms, domicile was described in the following manner: "The concept of domicile imports a legal relationship between a person and a country governed by a particular system of law or a place within such a country. This relationship is inferred from the fact that a person voluntarily establishes or retains his sole or principal residence within that country or at that place with the intention of making and retaining in that country or place the centre of his personal, social and economic interests. This intention may be inferred, inter alia, from the period of his residence, past and prospective, as well as from the existence of other ties of a personal or business nature between that person and that country or place." Both objective and subjective criteria are included here. The fact of a voluntary residence must be given, but also the intention to retain this residence. It is not said how long a period of time this intention should span, only that past and prospective residence periods, together with other ties, could be seen as indications of such an intention. The Committee went on to say that a person's domicile is regarded as continuing until another domicile is acquired, and that a person's principal 193

residence should be considered his domicile, if no other domicile can be determined. Residence was then interpreted as follows: ''The residence of a person is determined solely by factual criteria; it does not depend upon the legal entitlement to reside." And factual criteria is at hand if the person in question "dwells there for a certain period of time". Habitual residence is in other words based on the duration of this residence as well as on other indications of ties between a person and his residence. 1 This terminology may be helpful in its emphasis on factual ties to a country or a place and on a person's intention to remain there. In contrast to citizenship, it is here not the legal act of naturalisation that is decisive but rather the fact that a person actually lives in a certain place. This applies to both concepts, but while residence is exclusively determined on factual criteria, domicile also implies some kind of legal relationship to the state. We could perhaps interpret this as a requirement that a foreign citizen shall have obtained at least a temporary residence, for if he has not, his stay and his relationship to the state is not legal. An illegal immigrant could in other words be a resident but he could not be domiciled in the country he has illegally entered. For a residence to be a domicile, it seems to be sufficient that the person holds a temporary permit, however, if he intends to prolong it, and even if the state has no such intention. The two concepts, residence and domicile, have originated in other legal contexts, quite free from considerations of immig1. SOU 1976:39, Hemvist, betankande av hemvistsakkunniga (Domicile, report by the domicile experts), Stockholm, pp 114 ff, Quotation from a recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 1972, p367.


ration regulation or citizenship policy. For our purpose, they should be supplemented. Residence could be used, as here, for the real situation, and domicile for a legally tolerated or granted residence. But how long shall a residence last to be accepted as a lasting domicile? We have emphasised the significance of the time spent in the new country for the establishment, not only of legal relationships to the new country, but also of a whole series of other relationships of economic, social and cultural character. The speed of these integration processes varies, and the outcomes may be very different, but time plays a major role. In most countries there is some notion about how long time it usually takes to qualify for citizenship: 3 to 5 years, or perhaps 10 to 12 years. These time limits could perhaps be indications of what some Western European countries have perceived to be a lasting domicile. If the argument in this book is accepted - that the actual

period of legal domicile should be given a much greater significance and attention - then we must also thoroughly discuss the criteria we want to use to define it. Generally speaking, we might want to include those who pay taxes and intend to continue doing so, while we might want to exclude others who will be leaving the country soon and therefore have no interest in future oriented political issues in the host country. Furthermore, we might want to include parents of pupils in the compulsory school system, since we can presume that the education of their children is of great importance to them, but perhaps exclude some parents whose stay is temporary. But many other forms of attachment should be considered: family ties of various kinds, and especially mixed marriages in which one of the spouses is a native citizen, the possession of property or of an enterprise, lively business contacts etc. In an ideal world, we could imagine a durable domicile period always leading to naturalisation, but in the real world it does not: denizens remain denizens after years and decades of 195

residence. In the mean time, numerous social and economic rights are granted to them, as well·as several political rights. The Naturalisation Model Several traditional immigration countries overseas have strongly encouraged naturalisation. They have had an interest in immigration for permanent settlement up to a certain limit, and they have wanted to make sure that immigrants become new citizens within a reasonable time. Among immigration countries in Western Europe, a somewhat similar immigration and naturalisation policy has been implemented by France. The naturalisation model that we shall now sketch will be an exaggerated and theoretical version of the policies of these empirical examples. Let us imagine a state that wishes to create congruence between informal membership and formal citizenship of the country, and that therefore decides to naturalise as many denizens as possible within a reasonable period of time. To achieve this aim, all resources and efforts are devoted to increasing the rate of naturalisation. Qualifying conditions are reduced to a minimum. Application procedures are simplified, and campaigns are started to encourage denizens to apply for citizenship. Children born in the country, and childre,n raised and educated there, obtain citizenship automatically or semiautomatically at the age of majority. Negotiations and agreements with countries of origin abolish or reduce obstacles to naturalisation, that follow from the domestic legislation of these sending countries. Naturalisation is granted with no requirement that the previous citizenship shall be renounced in other words, dual citizenship is accepted. In short, everything is done to stimulate naturalisation and remove hindrances to it. But naturalisation is not made compulsary for denizens who, in spite of all, refuse to become citizens even after very long periods of stay. The expectation would be, however, that these refusals would be rather few 196

and exceptional cases, and that a naturalisation drive of this kind would in general be successful. It would greatly reduce the number of denizens and instead increase the number of residents with full political rights. Formal citizenship would become much more congruent with informal membership of the state. But other less desirable effects would also result with this model. Naturalisation would namely be something almost automatic, dependent only on the time spent in the country. The state would be given little room for discretionary examination of applications. It would have to naturalise denizens with more than five or more than ten years of residence, as if they had a right to be naturalised, and it would be difficult to exclude for instance certain groups of immigrated denizens because of their background, religion, ethnicity, language, culture or race. The state would have to give up something of its sovereign privilege to determine who shall be naturalised. A nation state could not see to it that all new citizens were of the same national or ethnic origin, and a state would no longer be able to preserve a certain homogeneity in ethnicity or religion or to protect its internal cohesion. Or, since the third entrance gate - naturalisation - would here be left wide open, it would be politically necessary that the first gate - immigration control be closed for everyone who could not be accepted as a future citizen. The selection of groups and individuals that a state might wish to make, would have to take plact already when the first residence permits are given. But this could not help in the present situation in Western Europe, where immigration has already taken place, and where the problem is that several states do not want to naturalise denizens who arrived during the large labour recruitment period 15 to 20 years ago. Whatever the balance of pros and cons in theory, in some states it would be highly unrealistic to propose a naturalisation drive, in others on the other hand several measures have 197

already been taken to facilitate naturalisation by way of easy and inexpensive procedures or even an automatic acquisition of citizenship. And finally, dual citizenship is and may continue to be increasingly tolerated, and this seems to be essential, for if it is not, many denizens will in the end, in spite of all efforts to encourage them, abstain from naturalisation. The Voting Rights Model

The opposite extreme is to stop practically all naturalisation, and to grant denizens political rights including voting rights. It is true that this combination is hardly a realistic one. If countries discourage members of the first generation from applying for citizenship, and grant citizenship to members of the second or third generation only if they have become assimilated members of the nation, then they probably also refuse to grant political rights. Our model is a theoretical construction, and what is says is only that if naturalisation is in this way stopped, and denizens do not acquire citizenship, then it becomes even more important to give them formal political rights, in congruence with their status as domiciled denizens. The voting rights model may be said to introduce a "membership of the polity" as a replacement for citizenship. If for one reason or another naturalisation cannot or does not take place, denizens continue to be foreign citizens, excluded from politics in the host country. Instead of changing its naturalisation policy in accordance with the naturalisation model, a state may grant full political rights to denizens with legal domicile in the country for a particular number of years. Full political rights should include voting rights and the right to be a candidate in all elections, including elections to the national Parliament, or else it would not completely replace the other alternative, naturalisation. This model has been criticized for cutting off fundamental parts of the content of citizenship, and for giving away citizens' rights and duties to non-citizens. When denizens have 198

obtained local voting rights in some countries, this has been a break with the tradition that political rights shall be reserved for citizens. Many objections have been raised against local reform proposals, but they have become stronger and more numerous when reform of national voting rights have also been proposed. The voting rights model can therefore seldom be fully implemented. Denizens may get several basic political rights and freedoms, but not voting rights, at least not in national elections. The domicile principle is the basis of both models, for all domiciled denizens shall either become naturalised citizens or members of the polity with full political rights. As we have seen, this domicile principle plays a considerable role in many fields of legislation in Western Europe, while the citizenship principle still determines access to political rights. Both models could be used to make this access congruent with the domicile principle: according to the naturalisation model the method is to adjust citizenship to domicile, while the voting rights model accepts a differentiation of citizenship and domicile, but requires that political rights follow domicile. The Two Models, Compared and Combined Both models can lead to full political rights for domiciled denizens, but neither is likely to reach the level of full implementation. Both are politically too extreme and too rational. We have several times referred to the strength of the individual person's emotional identification with origin and nation, and we have emphasised the state's commitment to the protection of all citizens, whether domiciled at home or abroad. The voting rights model has the advantage that an immigrant does not have to go through the throes of giving up his original citizenship in order to gain political rights where he now has his domicile. The naturalisation model may on the other hand achieve the same result by generously tolerating dual citizenship, allowing that the original citizenship is preserved. 199

The naturalisation model does not take enough account of citizenship as membership of a nation with history, ethnic origin, language, culture etc. The voting rights model on the other hand does not sufficiently consider the constitutional significance of citizenship, and the serious problems in protecting national security, that would face many or perhaps most states, if non-citizens were given a right to take part in all their political decisions. Neither of these two theoretical models is suggested for full implementation in any of the Western European countries confronted with a large number of denizens who are not naturalised and who have not obtained political rights. Both of them are, however, discussed and both are partly or in some respects proposed or already accepted. In some countries naturalisation has been liberalized, in others denizens have obtained voting rights. In some countries, both alternatives have been made use of simultaneously. The extent to which this has happened and the combinations that have been chosen differ with the preconditions given in the countries' immigration policy and their traditional naturalisation policies, with the size and composition of the denizen population, as well as with the countries' national security. Given this situation, it is hardly possible to make realistic recommendations valid for all European immigration countries. Various combinations of measures might be required, but the problems are similar, and the principles and models that we have discussed here, are relevant everywhere. At the end of the last chapter, after having first summarized our argument, we shall therefore venture some very general normative conclusions.



Denizens and Political Rights

The world's population is often seen as divided into two exclusive categories, citizens and aliens. We have argued that "internal citizenship" in contrast to "external citizenship" cannot be dichotomized in this way, but should instead be conceived of as membership of a country, based on a number of de facto relations. Effective domicile and a legal status as permanent resident may include even considerable political rights in the host country. The legal dichotomy between citizens and aliens may describe "external citizenship", but it is blind to essential dilemmas caused by international migration. We have also tried to make this point by introducing a model of three entrance gates to the immigration country. The first gate, immigration regulation, has since 1973-74 remained closed to migrant workers, except for privileged citizens within areas of free circulation as the EEC and the Nordic labour market. Applications from asylum seekers are thoroughly scrutinized to check that no one sneaks in without solid reasons. Family reunion is in most countries allowed, but it has been limited to the nuclear family, in the understanding that the large populations of denizens who arrived in the 1960s and 1970s will be staying for good. While the first gate has been closed, the second is now almost wide open. As residence periods are ten to fifteen years for 201

most foreign citizens, and as the idea of return has become an unrealistic myth, the large majority has acquired a secure residence status as denizens. But in many countries, there is only a tiny chink open in the third gate and relatively few are naturalised. Nationalism These current problems need to be viewed against their historical background, for although we often tend to think about nations, and therefore perhaps also about nation states and their citizenship legislations, as if they were ancient and almost given by nature, they are relatively new phenomena. It is difficult to tell how old they are, for this is partly a matter of what aspects of nationalism we emphasize. Throughout history some kind of patriotism has been encouraged by kings and emperors who have employed historians to write about their divine origin, dazzling victories, or noble acts. With the advent of the printing press in the 15th century, this old form of propaganda could be spread more widely at the same time as a printing language suitable for an emerging nation-state developed. In the same period, the Protestant Reformation gave rise to national churches subordinated to the king. All these were important elements in the development of the nation state, but nationalism and citizenship are much younger than this. As we have seen, they emerged during the 19th century, in the

aftermath of 1789 and in reaction to the attempts to annihilate historical states during the Napoleonic wars. Dynastic states, ruled by a king or prince with more or less absolute power were replaced by states, in which political power was seen as originating from the sovereign people, and citizens had individual rights according to the laws of the state. But the people were also seen as a nation in possession of a language, a history, an origin and a culture of its own.


In the 19th century, new citizenship laws were enacted everywhere in Europe, and for the first time rules were set for the acquisition and loss of citizenship, and for the determination of who were citizens and who were not. At the end of the century and especially during the First World War, when immigration regulation was introduced, and when active war service was demanded and general suffrage granted, this citizenship legislation supplied some of the instruments necessary for the new relationship between state and individuals. This major change in citizenship policy and legislation has probably also had a strong impact on how individual persons have perceived of nationality and citizenship. People have probably always - like Ulysses - wanted to return to the place, region or country, which they have originated from. The first experiences in life, the primary socialization, and the need for continuity may explain the great role of our first locus. During the 19th century something is added to this process of socialization, namely a national education, in the form of an elementary school in which the language is learnt and the culture is integrated. Members of the labour force had to be exchangeable and mobile in the new economy. They needed a basic general education, which only the state could afford to organize efficiently. The regional division of the traditional agrarian society was replaced in the industrial society by a new cohesion based on social mobility, urbanization and an elementary school system, and it was in this new social order that nationalism emerged. Nations are more or less consciously built by symbolic actions and by rights and duties: by the flag, the national anthem, the solemn oath, or by military service and especially active service in war, but also in peaceful competition with other nations at international sport matches as well as by protectionism, customs, and immigration regulation. To defend and protect the state's interests, a nation is built in which there is a sense of community and of uniform identity, loyalty and willingness to make a sacrifice for one's own country. This 203

kind of nationalism varies from country to country, and it is likely to be more aggressive, the younger and the more insecure or threatened the nation is. A historical perspective may help us to see the relative and temporal nature of what we study, and demonstrate that what we now tend to perceive as final products of a long development were instead fruits of a special season, products of the historical period in which they were born. Nationalism, nation and citizenship are not ancient, nor in any sense given entities, but made by men during a certain period. The Large Number of Denizens This knowledge should in our view also make us open for revisions and reexaminations under new social and political conditions. Only during the present century, international migration has undergone a number of changes, which we have not more than sketched here, and while immigration has become increasingly regulated and controlled everywhere in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, the number of persons passing state borders has gone up, as has the number of immigrants, foreign residents, and denizens. The rate of naturalisation is low for two very different reasons. First, the requirements are in many states so demanding that only few persons apply or succeed in their applications. Second, the propensity to naturalise is low also in countries with less severe requirements. A general liberalization of naturalisation policy would improve the situation in the first type of states, but only to a certain degree. The number of denizens not applying for citizenship would still remain large. A number of considerations are involved in decisions made by

latent candidates for naturalisation, and they are often practical: favourable and unfavourable consequences of taking such a step, both with respect to the old country and the new, are taken into consideration, and these consequences may be


economic, legal and social. The old country may represent tradition, language and culture, education and socialization, parents and relatives, etc. while the new country may stand for the future, children and coming generations, prospects and hopes. Naturalisation may be perceived as a repudiation of one's origin, language and culture, or even as an act of treason to one's old country, and latent feelings of guilt may be amplified by criticism from friends, relatives, and the authorities in the old country. On the other hand, candidates for naturalisation are also increasingly tied to the new country. They identify more and more with both states and both nations, although in different ways. They speak two languages more or less well and they learn perhaps also how to function in two cultures. They have economic interests, own property or may expect to inherit in both countries. They have friends and relatives in both, and regularly travel between them. Some countries, of which the Netherlands is one example, urge denizens to make up their mind and decide whether they want to become Dutch citizens or not. And if they naturalise, they should then become one hundred per cent Dutch, with exclusive allegiance, loyalty and identification to the Netherlands. This is obviously an unrealistic oversimplification, for migrants can seldom completely cut their old ties in this way, nor do they usually wish to do so. Affections for old traditions, language, land and people etc. will not be severed by a legal change of citizenship. But of course naturalisation may mean that the balance is shifted, even if attachment to both societies is continued. In this perspective, dual nationality seems to be a legal expression for a very common dual identification, and for this reason also probably a good way to induce some reluctant denizens to naturalise. We shall return to this question later but must recall here what was said earlier about membership of a state and of a nation. "External citizenship" is a formal membership 205

of the state, and either you are a citizen or you are not. But even if you are not, you may be a member of one or several sub-societies within the same state, and so be more or less an "internal citizen". It might perhaps be said that the present situation will soon come to an end, since in a few decades today's denizens will retire from working life. But 10- 15 years is also a long period, and in some countries the second generation is in about the same situation as their parents. Futhermore, family and refugee immigration has continued, and we have strong reasons to believe that the problems discussed here are of a general character, related to long-term developments in international communications, economic interdependence and continued international migration. Voting Rights for Denizens

Most observers agree that it is in the long run harmful to a polity that a large number of people living within its boundaries lack political rights, especially the right to vote in political elections, and that it would be better for representative democracy, if denizens with domicile of long duration became represented in decision-making councils. But opinions differ about how detrimental the situation actually is, and about the two alternative solutions here assessed, namely, first, an extension of full political rights to denizens, and second, a liberalization of naturalisation policy, including measures to encourage denizens to apply for citizenship. We have already reported that granting denizens local voting rights has functioned satisfactorily in the Nordic countries, in the Netherlands and in some other countries. Especially the more intensive studies of the Swedish experience have shown that denizens have taken an increased interest in politics of the host country, and that the political parties have demonstrated an increased interest in immigrant policy. The electoral turnout has been lower (and in Sweden much lower) 206

than the turnout among voters in general, but this must at least partly be accepted, because of several special problems involved: the composition of the groups of immigrant voters and the very high portion of first time voters in each election, for example. A large variance has been found between immigrant groups of different nationality in one country as well as between elections in different immigration countries. Many have warned that voting rights for non-citizens might have negative consequences for the state, but these have not appeared. New political parties based on political conflicts in the countries of origin have for instance not played any significant role or had any success in the elections. Based on experience from a number of elections in several countries, we can therefore without hesitation recommend local voting rights for denizens. But we have to add that our present experience is based on reforms made in countries where the preconditions have been favourable. It is more difficult to introduce the same reform in a country whose immigration policy does not aim at permanent settlement and integration, but instead encourages temporary residence and return migration. In addition, in several countries a reform would require an amendment of the constitution, which by itself may entail insurmountable obstacles. The difficulties may increase the longer the immigrant groups stay in the host country. A lengthy ban of all political participation may lead to lasting political abstention and passivity in relation to the host country, and to a segregation that may prove difficult to eliminate. Political divisions, imported from the country of origin, may already have come to play a role among denizens to whom no other kind of politics has been permitted. Finally, the first elections after a reform may be expected to bring about more drastic changes in cities with a high concentration of denizens, where the electorate would perhaps increase by 20 to 30 per cent. W7

Of course, this last argument can also be put forward in favour of a reform. When long residence periods and a high concentration of denizens in some municipalities render the implementation of a reform more difficult, this demonstrates the impact of the previous exclusion of denizens and the need for a change. It may also explain why reform proposals meet strong resistance in some countries. But it does not tell what the final outcome will be, for over time the pressure for a change will probably increase rather than decrease. If voting rights are given in local but not in national elections,

the appetite for extended political rights may be expected to grow. Denizens will become members of political parties at the local level, and politicians on local councils etc. Since the distinction between what is local and national politics will seldom be sharp, countries may prefer not to give any voting rights to non-citizens in order to avoid such a development. Would it not then be better if denizens became citizens of the host country? Does not their choice not to naturalise in the end prove that they are not loyal enough to be given full political rights? And especially, should they be allowed also to have a say in foreign policy decisions and national security issues? Questions about loyalties and security risks direct our attention to the significance we attach, on one hand to a person's de facto relationship to the state, as indicated by his domicile and integration, and on the other to his citizenship. There are, of course, security risks in all categories: among native citizens as well as among naturalised citizens, and among denizens as well as among other foreign citizens. There is certainly also a great deal of loyalty for the state in all these categories, a loyalty that may increase with the length of their domicile in the country. But it is true that we know very little about the attitudes and behavioural modes characteristic of these categories, for so far almost no empirical studies have been done. A person who is a citizen of a foreign country or is in other ways tied to or dependent upon a foreign country will 208

often be looked upon with special suspicion when the host country's security is endangered. A foreign state may ask citizens living abroad to serve some of its interests. If they decline, they may be persuaded to change their mind by threats that something might happen to their family or relatives back in the old country or to their property there. All kinds of ties may be utilised in this pressure, and a great number of people might be subject to it: foreign residents including denizens, but also naturalised citizens and their children. In other words, the risks do not follow citizenship alone but also depend on a person's real interests and ties to the country of origin. Focusing on citizenship may even make us blind to the real risks for both citizens and non-citizens. All too often the traditional and simplified dichotomy between citizens and aliens is used to make general judgements about loyalty and security risks. Perhaps we also need this special term denizen to discover that other considerations should be taken. Security risks are best evaluated in individual cases, and cannot be judged solely on the basis of formal criteria, as, for instance, citizenship. It is true that naturalisation usually requires some kind of individual examination, but such a test is often relatively simple and formal, and it may have taken place several years ago and under other circumstances. The risks involved in giving denizens national voting rights are to a large extent dependent on a country's position in the international political power structure and on its evaluation of its national security. Under conditions of peace and little external threat, objections to national voting rights bear less weight than in situations marked by international tensions or the threat of war. Countries may find it best to play safe and not invite future risks. On the other hand, between friendly neighbouring states like the Nordic states or the states within the European Community, where a security community has been established, and where conflicts are settled by peaceful 209

means, these same objections against national voting rights for denizens are much less convincing. National voting rights are probably a realistic alternative mainly within such security regions and first of all for citizens of friendly neighbouring states. The question whether denizens shall also be eligible for election to the National Parliament is then an academic one. It seems rather unlikely that non-citizen politicians would have a chance to be nominated and elected to Parliament, even if they were formally allowed to stand for election. And as immigrant groups can nominate and elect their candidates among naturalised citizens, the detrimental effects would be limited if the right to stand for election were reserved for citizens. Naturalisation and Citizenship The alternative solution - an increase in the rate of naturalisation - can be achieved by more liberal conditions and greater use of automatic procedures for the acquisition of citizenship, especially for the second generation, by greater openess to the possibility of dual citizenship, and by efforts to motivate and encourage denizens to naturalise. Some states welcome new citizens, and by using several of these instruments, attain a relatively high rate of naturalisation; other states remain more reluctant or even absolutely opposed to the admittance of new members. Only the state can decide to free its citizens from their obligatory membership, and only the state can accept new members, either in individual cases or by means of general admittance rules. The state has a right to control its entrance gate number three, naturalisation. This control may be a core interest to sovereign states in an anarchic international political system, where each and everyone has to be prepared to defend his own national inte210

rests. In a crisis, a state's survival may depend on the unity and cohesion of its people, as well as on the loyalty and patriotism of its citizens. Moreover, if it is a vital goal to preserve or to establish a certain ethnic, linguistic, or religious homogeneity in the population, the state must be able to control who becomes a member. The welfare state, finally, cannot function without regulating who are the beneficiaries allowed to share the cake. Citizenship policy may be conceived of as something almost constant and unchanging just because of its heavy dependence on some of the state's fundamental elements. The rate of naturalisation that a state can tolerate varies in part with such basic factors as national security, historical division and cohesion, ethnic and religious homogeneity, and welfare system. A state's citizenship policy may therefore seem to be rigid and hard to adapt to special and changing situations, as for instance in order to solve the denizen dilemma that we are discussing here. Almost all states agree with the principle that naturalisation shall be granted to foreign citizens who have gained a very long and strong attachment to the state. The question is, how long and how strong? As we have seen, even extremely long periods of residence are not always enough. Sometimes it does not help to have been raised in the country and educated in its school system, not even to have been born on the state's territory. In most cases, however, all these objective indicators of attachment to the state are helpful, even if they seldom lead automatically to naturalisation. A discretionary decision is usually made in which many more factors are taken into consideration, and some applicants may be discriminated against for instance because of their race, nationality or origin. When the conditions are difficult to meet, and the application procedure is hostile, tactless or just tedious, many potential applicants are deterred. But even with a less restrictive 211

naturalisation policy, many denizens, expecting not to be admitted, abstain from trying, and even maintain that they do not want to become naturalised. This might help us explain why several polls in the Federal Republic of Germany have shown that most denizens do not intend to apply, although a successful application would seem to be in their best interests. 1 But this does not explain why the propensity to naturalise is not higher in countries which encourage denizens to apply, as for instance in Sweden. As we have seen, many denizens prefer not to become naturalised there because they do not want to renounce their old citizenship, in other words they abstain from the new citizenship as long as they cannot have both the old and the new. A country that wishes to liberalize its naturalisation policy can do this gradually and with restraint. Conditions may be relaxed in order to facilitate the acquisition of citizenship, for instance after a short residence or with lesser language skills. The application procedure may be simplified, and made less embarrassing for the individual. Decisions may be made less dependent on the authorities' discretion, and more based on explicit criteria or rights, given by law. But some procedure for automatic or semi-automatic acquisition is probably required, if the goal is to naturalise a large denizen population during a relatively short period of one or two decades. In several countries, as for instance in the Scandinavian countries, denizens born in the country have a right to be naturalised at the age of 18, and only need to notify the authorities of their wish to be naturalised. France has gone one step further, naturalising those who do not directly and on their own initiative declare that they do not want French citizenship. It was the law providing for naturalisation without application and examination that the French government 1. DsA 1986:6, Dubbclt mcdborgarskap, p 66; Konig, P, Schultze, G, und Wessel, R, 1986.


proposed to amend in 1986, when strong public reactions made the government withdraw its proposal.2 In France, the third generation acquires French citizenship automatically, and the second by this almost automatic procedure. In the Federal Republic of Germany on the other hand, both the second and the third generation remain aliens. Proposals to introduce automatic naturalisation for the second generation have been discussed, however, and in 1986 the Kohl government expressed interest in a simplified form of naturalisation for the second generation. Denizens born and educated in the country have, of course, a strong moral claim to citizenship. No one could doubt that they as members of the second or third generation are likely to stay permanently in the country, or that they are well enough integrated and meet other reasonable conditions. But a very long period of residence, of say more than 20 years, may be said to establish a claim to naturalisation also for their parents, the first generation. So far, however, moral claims of this kind are seldom transformed into a right to naturalisation. It is something of a paradox that although residence periods of five to ten years are sufficient almost everywhere to qualify for citizenship, in practice naturalisation takes place only after much longer periods of time, if at all. Finally, more denizens may become naturalised, if a number of practical obstacles are removed. It has often been pointed out that by giving denizens most social, economic and perhaps also some political rights, the state has weakened their incentive to become naturalised citizens - the gains from naturalisation have become too small. But for the denizen a consideration of equal or greater importance is often the cost involved in renouncing the citizenship he already has - loss of property rights, of inheritance, of free access to the country, or exemption from duties. If some of these disadvantages could be eliminated through agreement between immigration and emigra2. Brubaker, R, 1987. 213

tion countries, the present low propensity of denizens to become naturalised would probably rise. Dual Citizenship

The losses in the old country are sharply reduced when dual citizenship is tolerated. We have already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship in some detail and we have found that it is not only increasingly adopted but also that in most respects it offers benefits to both states and individuals. Dual citizenship means among other things that a number of persons are given political rights they would otherwise as denizens be excluded from. It is· furthermore congruent with the dual national identification of many denizens, based on their ties to two countries. But we have also seen that the European convention of 1963, on the "reduction of cases of multiple nationality" still remains the authoritative international document in Europe, even if its basic principles have come under discussion during recent years. Several states, including the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, have strongly opposed the more or less radical changes in this convention suggested by France, Sweden, and several emigration countries. The disadvantages of dual citizenship are not only formal, but also fundamental, based as they are in the fact that all states need a clear definition of their membership and therefore of the nation or the people. Dual citizenship is furthermore often considered to stand in conflict with full and undivided loyalty to a single state, or at least to be a possible source of security risks. Some aspects of dual nationality are regulated in international agreements, as for instance military service and taxation. In civil law as well as in social security and fiscal legislation, decisions are based on a person's effective residence and not on 214

his citizenship. But dual voting rights are seldom regulated and restricted, possibly because they have so far been of little significance. If dual citizenship would be more generally accepted, a number of beneficial effects would follow. More denizens would be willing to apply for citizenship in the host country. The number of denizens without political rights would be strongly reduced, and dual citizens would get voting rights not only in local but also in national elections. Naturalisation could furthermore be made automatic, for example, for the first generation of immigrants after 15 or 20 years' residence, if they did not themselves directly decline such an offer. It seems to be fairly unrealistic, however, to expect that dual citizenship will be generally accepted within the immediate future, even if some states may proceed along these lines, and some regional solutions may be found.

Returning to the metaphor of the three entrance gates, we might say that dual citizenship means that all gates are left wide open in two countries. Two alternatives are available to those who have both citizenships, and they can at any time make use of them. But to enjoy them in one country, they must enter the gates to that country and take residence there. If they then at some other time return to the first country, the same rules would apply there. Full rights are granted in both countries, but they can be enjoyed only in the country of residence. In Spanish and Latin American legislation this has previously been called a "sleeping citizenship", which can be "waked up" and activated when combined with effective residence in the country. Conclusions I have changed my views slightly, while working on this book, and I think the reason for this is that citizenship, dual nationality, voting right~ and eligibility for denizens, all appear in another perspective when not only Sweden or the Nordic 215

countries but also several Western European immigration countries are studied. The problems are similar, for all these countries have experienced large scale immigration during the same period, but the historic, geographic, economic and social preconditions are very different, and immigration regulation and immigrant policy have initially been strongly divergent. I have personally reached a better understanding of why reforms that have been accepted with relative ease in one country seem to be preposterous in other countries. I have become less convinced that measures taken in one country can be directly transferred and translated into another context. But I think that a comparative analysis of naturalisation policy and the political representation of denizens in several European countries can help us to see our own ethnocentrism a little better, and discover factors of significance to the problems we study. First among the lessons I have learnt is perhaps an insight that naturalisation policy is closely related to immigration regulation and immigrant policy. We cannot expect that countries with very different immigration policies shall pursue the same naturalisation policy. In the long run we may, however, find that naturalisation policies will converge in Europe as a result of an ongoing convergence in immigration policy, fifteen years after the termination of foreign labour recruitment. We can therefore expect that some of the present remarkable differences in naturalisation policy will also continue in the near future, and that attempts to coordinate several countries' naturalisation policies will meet with many obstacles. But we have noted a significant increase in the number of dual citizens, and also some proposals to revise the principle of one-citizenship-only. There is further a vague interest in a European citizenship within the European Community and in a Nordic citizenship in the Nordic Council, even if ambitions have so far only extended to giving equal rights to citizens of countries that are members of these regional communities. 216

Beginning this project, I expressed the opinion that denizens should be entitled to local voting rights in all immigration countries, and that national voting rights might follow as a second step. I am now more aware of the many obstacles that exist: constitutions that must be amended, security risks that may be imminent in some countries during some periods, and the myth of return that survives despite the obvious fact that denizens have become permanent residents of the European immigration countries. Of course, this does not mean that there is less need for full political rights. Quite the contrary, a lengthy exclusion of certain groups from politics may have increased the risks of ethno-cultural conflicts and the importation of foreign political issues. I still believe that it is urgent to grant local voting rights to immigrants so they can influence the policies of the municipality they reside in, but I now emphasize more than before that an electoral reform may first require a new immigration policy, aiming at integration. National voting rights for denizens can in my opm10n be granted to citizens of friendly neighbouring states without the special problems which might occur, were they given to citizens of all countries. Some countries are more exposed to security risks than others, and they must therefore exercise strict control of persons who for instance, might be subject to pressure from foreign countries. Immigrants, foreign citizens, naturalised and dual citizens may in some situations be risk categories. They should of course not be treated as if they all were suspects, but a state has sometimes reason to put some persons in these categories under special observation. In high risk countries and during high risk periods, denizens will not and should not be allowed to vote in national elections. On the other hand, there are countries and periods, when the security risks are insignificant, especially in relation to certain countries, and when denizens from these countries should not be deprived of national voting rights. 217

To make the domiciled population congruent with the enfranchised one, the naturalisation of denizens and the granting of political rights to denizens are the two alternative or complementary solutions. If voting rights cannot be given, naturalisation may be liberalized in order to reduce the number of denizens excluded from politics. If instead full voting rights can be granted, naturalisation can perhaps wait longer. Probably, a liberal naturalisation policy is to be prefered, since this leads to a more general regulation of the relationship between the immigrant and his host state. Such a policy should also include measures to induce naturalisation, and to encourage immigrants to apply for citizenship. An important step in this respect would be agreements with countries of origin that reduce the disadvantages of naturalisation. The best solution is probably dual citizenship, despite such complications as dual military service, dual voting rigths etc. There is hesitation and even resistance to this development, but this might change, if a more liberal naturalisation policy were accepted. As might be seen, a number of recommendations are suggested, even though I realize that a general model cannot be applied to all European immigrations countries. To conclude I shall try to sum up my recommendations in four points: 1. Denizens should be given the right to participate in the formation of political opinions and in the articulation and aggregation of interests in the host states. They should also be granted voting rights and the right to stand for election at the local level. National voting rights should be granted when the country's international security situation allows this, and especially to citizens of states that are members of the same security community. - However, as several immigration countries raise serious objections to local voting rights, denizens will probably not get political representation in these countries, at least not in the near future.


2. Naturalisation must therefore be liberalized. Especially the second and the third generations should be encouraged to become naturalised citizens, but this should apply also to the first generation of immigrants with long domicile. Several measures are available to increase the naturalisation rate: reduced qualifications, less discretionary application procedures, and under certain conditions, the automatic acquisition of citizenship. But attempts should also be made to increase the motivation to become naturalised, by positive incentives as well as by a reduction of the disadvantages entailed in renouncing one's previous citizenship. 3. Dual citizenship may eliminate such undesirable effects and provide great advantages for individual persons. In itself, it may also be advantageous for the states involved. While some countries are definitely opposed to dual citizenship, others tolerate or even encourage it, unilaterally or in bilateral or regional agreements. Dual citizenship implies full political rights and has therefore, like naturalisation generally, a great impact on the political representation of immigrants. It may not be a solution in itself, but in combination with local voting rights for those who remain denizens, it could rather effectively reduce the democratic problem that domiciled denizens are excluded from politics. 4. The domicile principle has so far not been well enough examined from this perspective. Domicile is increasingly taken as a basis for judicial and administrative decisions, and it has, as we have seen, great significance for the status of immigrants. Within national states political rights are often tied to domicile, and should in my opinion also be so with regard to denizens. In combination with citizenship, a more precisely defined domicile may in the future provide a basis for immigrants' political rights in countries of immigration. This will be needed, for international migration is not likely to come to an end. But it will take time to reach such a solution, given the present system of laws, and different national traditions and practice. 219


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