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About this sample
Words: 4907 |
25 min read
Published: Aug 31, 2023
Words: 4907|Pages: 11|25 min read
Europe has witnessed movement towards cooperation since 1950’s, underscoring the importance of citizenship. Globalization has brought economic and political interests closer within Europe. The European Union has expanded rapidly, with the Schengen treaty ensuring freedom of movement, benefiting not only EU states but also countries like Norway and Switzerland, which are Schengen states despite being outside the EU. Notably, the UK, Ireland, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria stand as EU states yet are non-Schengen members. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the significance of nationality and citizenship within EU states appeared diminished. Shared values and political rights prevailed. In the European Union, citizens enjoy the right to vote in European Parliament elections and stand as candidates in their home country or any other EU nation. EU nationals living elsewhere in the EU can participate in municipal elections in their resident country. Although exceptions exist, such as national governments selecting municipal leaders from their own citizens or requiring certain residency periods for non-nationals in municipalities with over 20 percent non-national voters (European Commission, 2019), national parliamentary and presidential elections remained exclusive to citizens of the respective nation-states.
This development has also shaped how the concept of citizenship and nationality is being perceived. Idea of the postnationalism was believed to erode the position of the nation state (Koopmans & Statham, 1999). Scholars see lots of troubling issues in the idea of postnationalism and claim that citizenship of nation state is crucial (Koopmans & Statham, 1999) (Hansen, 2008). Also, dual citizenship became more acceptable in the EU. All member states accept dual citizenship, but some with restrictions (Østergaard-Nielsen, 2008). There were times before 1990 when dual citizenship was seen as a threat and compared with bigamy (Spiro, 2005), but recently it has been seen as tool of incorporation of the immigrants. All scholars do not see benefits and threats of the dual citizenship eye to eye. There is debate to both directions, very much depending on the point of view and the field of study of the scholar.
During the second decade the liberal thinking of citizenship has come to an end. Nationalism and even ethnonationalism has been increasing inside European Union and its member states. In the aftermath of financial crisis and refugee ‘crisis’ of 2015 Europe has witnessed new rise of right-wing and populist parties that might threaten the post war security and unity (Pazzanese, 2017). Populist like Nigel Farage in UK, Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in Netherlands and Jussi Halla-Aho in Finland for example preach for stronger nation states and leaving the European union. This rise of populism and nationalism poses also a threat to the idea of citizenship. Some nations like Denmark have made requirements for citizenship harder during the era of Venstren Party that is in the right (Wallius, 2015). Moving to this direction is not good news for third country nationals inside the European Union. But I argue it is not good news for the member states either. Shutting people out from society proposes also threats.
Openness towards dual citizenship has declined. Hybrid warfare is raising some doubts towards dual citizenship at least in Finland, but it can be seen elsewhere too. With dual citizenship the old fears about loyalty are raising again. Can person with dual citizenship work in military or high level public servant (Kananen & Jussi Ronkainen, 2018)
I do believe that Randall and his colleagues are right in their argument that provided one way or another (naturalization or dual citizenship) the rights that citizenship provides are essential for integration. I contest their idea of the provider of these rights. In this essay I will look into nation state and citizen ship as provider of rights and I will argue that perhaps traditional nation states are not anymore, the best solution for providing political and civil rights. When it comes to granting citizenship to third country nationals, I argue that tightening access to citizenship poses higher risks than easier access to it. Due the idea of loyalty. Nowadays it is not only states that people can be loyal to. I will also look into possible new threats that dual citizenship might pose in the current political climate, especially for the countries near Russia. I will scrutinize these matters through the ideas of Hansen and Brubaker.
What is citizenship and why is it considered so important even during the times of globalization where in economy borders of the states are blurring? What does it mean to be a citizen and what does it give to one and who is entitled for citizenship and on what grounds? There are various different ways to look at the concept of citizenship. I am going to introduce here ideas that Hansen and Weil use, William Brubaker uses and the ideas that De Haas Castle and Miller use.
Since the French revolution the basic idea of belonging has been citizenship of a nation state (Hansen & Weil, 2005). Hansen and Weil present four tools to which nationality depends. First one is citizenship at birth, jus soli. This mean gaining the citizenship of the territory you are born in. Second one is through descent, jus sanguinis. This means that citizenship flows through parents. Hansen and Weil add to their list two more tools. Third one is marriage to citizen of another state can lead to acquisition of the spouses citizenship and fourth is past or current residence in the countries past or future or intended borders (Hansen & Weil, 2005). First two are very classical and simple to understand that under these conditions the right for citizenship granted. They remind very much of the idea of unspoken contract that we agree when we are born like Rousseau thought. Different states stress often either jus soli or jus sanguinis. Hansen stresses that political citizenship is the foundation of a right for international protection, return, political participation and non-expulsion (Hansen, 2008).
William Rogers Brubaker goes little deeper in his six ideals of state membership. According to this model membership should be egalitarian, sacred, national, democratic, unique and socially consequential (Brubaker, 2010). By egalitarian he means that state membership should be full and no other. Sacredness means that citizens should be able to make scarifies for the state. This is very classic idea in nation-states, especially with military service. If one belongs to a nation state, he/she should be willing to die for it. By national he means that state-membership should be based on nation-membership. That the political community should be at same time a cultural community, a community of language, mores, or belief. By this he means that only assimilation can earn the true nation-membership if it has not been obtained through jus soli or jus sanguais. Membership should be democratic. Here he points out that long term residents should be able to become members. According to Brubaker one of his ideals is that membership should be unique, meaning that person could only have one nationality. Brubaker is not supporters of dual citizenship. Finally in this ideal membership should be socially consequential, meaning that membership should include privileges that clearly separates members from non-members.
Brubaker admits that these ideal requirements for membership are somewhat relics. He has the same remark as Hansen (Hansen & Weil, 2005) the migration is shuffling the way of looking at citizenship. Brubaker still seems to hold on to idea of egalitarian as he states that:
“…piecemeal process of inclusion contrasts with the “total” transformation effected by naturalization. Paradoxically the further this process has gone, the weaker the incentive to naturalize. Ad hoc enlargements of migrants right may obstruct rather than clear the path to full membership, trapping large numbers of migrants-turned immigrants in an intermediate status carrying with it many of the privileges and obligations of full membership but excluding two of the most important, symbolically and practically: the right to vote and the duty of military service.” (Brubaker, 2010)
It is very much the same idea what Hansen gives critic to postnationalists, who argue that political rights can be practised not by voting but by writing letters or joining to street protest (Hansen, 2008). They both seem to think that access to political rights is highly important for the feeling of belonging and citizenship. And I do believe they are right.
Nowadays the populist and right-wing politicians, or fundamentalist as Brubaker calls them, seem to take the list that Brubaker put forth as a strict guideline for nationality. These populists or fundamentalist who believe that nationality is something sacred seem to think that naturalization can be achieved only through full assimilation. Their idea is that nation state is something that is frozen in space and time (Brubaker, 2010).
Both Brubaker and Hansen seem to agree on that political rights are essential part of citizenship. Sometimes immigrants that have been in country for a long time have a status of something in between. They might have right to work, run business entitlement to social security benefits and healthcare, but their right to vote is limited. Castles, De Haas and Miller call this ‘quasi-citizenship’. Little more than foreigner but less than a citizen (Haas, et al., 2014). That kind of a ‘light’ version of citizenship will not lead to incorporation and full feeling of belonging. Only citizenship with political rights offer the protection that we all need to feel that we belong. This feeling and need for political rights for full belonging into society does not only limit to those third country nationals in EU in entry level jobs. It is easy to understand that they should worry for their position in their resident society, if in USA even ‘imported talents’ in tech industry are feeling insecure during Trump era. Uncertainty over H-B1 visas for skilled workers and Trumps “buy American, hire American” strategy has caused anxiety of losing their work visas among some of the best tech talents in the world (Lam, 2017). So even workers in the high position in Silicon Valley are looking to move their business and families into areas with less political turmoil around visas. If the current changes in policy making is causing trouble to settle and build life among highly skilled workers, what can it mean for people working in low skill jobs without proper status, citizenship?
Year 2013 there were 20 million third country nationals living in the European Union. Number was higher in the EU15 countries and lower in the new member states. The share of third country nationals has been growing (OECD, 2015). If the requirements are like those that Brubaker proposes fundamentalist have and right-wing populist are gaining power in the member states, in what kind of position this leaves third country nationals? How could there be loyalty towards a nation-state that does not naturalize them? Or to a nation-state that even rejects them?
Hansen finds some answers for the integration in granting dual citizenship (Hansen, 2008), but Brubaker rejects the idea of it because of the threats it might raise. Is the dual nationality a threat for the ideal of nation states and its membership or are the ideals that Brubaker present of somewhat exclusive idea of nation state actually a threat for itself? It is clear that third country nationals who have been in EU for long time deserve some kind of clarification to their status. Perhaps Dual citizenship can offer that?
In dual citizenship, person has more than one nationality. During the history this has been contradicting with everything that nation-state and its relationship with its citizen is. It has been juxtaposed with having two wives or serving two gods. Problem has been the idea of loyalty. How could one be loyal to two, or more, masters? Lately at the end of the 20th century dual citizenship was accepted by lot of the countries. Now 2019 concept of dual citizenship is again facing some opposition. In Finland for example ministry of defence put fort plans to ban dual citizens from working on military posts (YLE News, 2018). Party in Estonia called Pro Patria is concerned about possibility for dual citizenship for the Russin minority in Estonia (Leivat, 2018). With the current Russian manoeuvres in Ukraine and Georgia it might be understandable. This selective tolerance might be understandable with how Russia might use the idea of its citizens in foreign country in their propaganda and politics.
But scholars are looking into dual citizenship differently. But the debate is on again, is dual citizenship a threat of a pathway to integration? After the end of the cold war more countries were seen to share the same basic assumptions of democratic governance, and market economies (Martin, 2005). This has polished the way for accepting dual citizenship as people move more and create links over borders anyway. Dual citizenship was seen as a way to restore the bond with the country of origin while same time help the integration in to the destination country (Kananen & Ronkainen, 2018).
Where Brubaker had some scepticism of the dual citizenship, Peter Spiro truly embraces it in his article Embracing dual nationality (Spiro, 2005). In his article he states very clearly all the benefits of the idea of two or multiple nationalities. He states that old threats about dual nationality are mostly prosaist. According to Spiro dual nationality has very seldom presented any direct threat to nations security. He sees no trouble in the loyalty aspect that critics of dual citizenship often stress. This is easy to accept. Reading in in Finland in the newspapers about dual citizens they seem to be even more closely monitored and their case is quite frequently debated in the media. One could think that dual nationality might be even handicap for espionage action. A survey about young adults who have both Finnish and Russian citizenship was carried out in Finland. In the survey it showed that when these young adults were not too much thinking of the loyalty aspect. It was clear that when they lived in Finland the Finnish social values and structure defined them without contradictions. Russian nationality mostly meant to them cultural heritage and language (Kananen & Jussi Ronkainen, 2018). Basically there was no conflict of interests to be found concerning their loyalty.
About benefits of dual citizenship Spiro is very excited. He writes that if possibility for dual citizenship is made too difficult often the aliens will not want to naturalize, in USA in this case. This will leave the natives suffer from culturally separated and politically disempowered resident within their community. As Spiro puts it:” Political identity is fundamental to American identity.” (Spiro, 2005). As I argued before I will argue the same thing as Spiro here. This goes with Europe too. When in Europe we are worried about people with two passports or we force third country nationals live among us with no real guarantee of their position in the society and their future, this is the true creator of threats. They will not intercorporate with society and they are forced to live in the edges of society. It is difficult to expect any kind of loyalty from them towards European lifestyle or values when done so.
Second point Spiro raises is that tolerating dual citizenship would help to spread democracy and western values. In his article Spiro states that this would work for Europe too. As an example, he sets Germany. Germany has been historically reluctant to grand dual citizenship for the Turkish people in Germany (Spiro, 2005). Now Turkish origin children born in Germany are allowed to have dual citizenship until they turn twenty-three. This idea from Spiro is very hopeful but yet at least 2019 it seems a little naïve. Countries like Russia and Turkey and their citizens and also their leaders are fully aware of democratic values. It is rather optimistic to think that democracy can be an export product that it introduced or is able to penetrate semi-authoritarian states through dual citizens. It cannot be pursued by the citizens living in these countries.
Spiro proves his main point clearly in his article and proves that dual nationality is definitely a tool that could help migrants integrate. Especially if they for one reason or another do not want to give up their original citizenship in case of naturalization. When we question immigrants loyalty towards the destination country we should bear in mind that they have chosen to live in the destination country for certain goods. As Brubaker says it that from global perspective the most important basic goods people are looking for are public peace and access to a relatively promising labour market (Brubaker, 2010). Access to civil, political, social and economic rights create in the best situation the feeling of belonging and identity in the long run. Human beings are mostly rational actors, they do not tend to leave from good to worse intentionally. We should be able to assume that should we be loyal to people who come to Europe and offer them the access to these goods there is no rational reason for them to be disloyal, quite the contrary.
Perhaps the idea of dual citizens acting as agents and using their loyalty wrongly is straight out of the Le Carré novels. This threat may be out of date if it ever truly existed. Perhaps dual citizenship may pose new kind of threats in the world 2019. Hybrid warfare is a phenomenon that might exploit the concept of dual citizenship and of citizenship for that matter. Tiina Ferm writes in her rapport of Laws in the era of hybrid threats as follows:
“In the era of hybrid threats, laws have become a toolbox used to create influence by potential hostile actors. This means that laws have a new significant but very complex role in threat maps. When an adversary operates across legal boundaries and masks its actions, the decision-making processes of the opponent are undermined.” (Ferm, 2017).
We have witnessed this kind of meddling during last few years by the Russians. Russians have in their toolbox plenty of ways to interfere into businesses of other states as seen in the US elections and Brexit. But one of the tools Russia has also used is the concept of citizenship. This can be seen at least in Crimean crises.
Russia has always stated they are not a party in the Crimean conflict. But truth is that areas of Donetsk and Lugansk could not survive without support from Moscow. What has citizenship to do with all of this. Year 2014 Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russia, said in his speech that Russia will protect the rights of Russians abroad (Percha, 2014). At first glance this seems like something very legitimate from a nation state. As stated by scholars who think what rights citizenship grants for person this protection by the state is among those rights. What slightly raises concern over this statement after situation at the Crimean and east Ossetia is the Postanovlenie. A rule that Russian Federation adopted 16 December 2009. There they stated that Russian Federation Armed Forces can take on the operational deployment beyond the territorial boundaries of the Russia to protect Russian citizens (Cameron, et al., 2010). Now when writing this April 2019 Putin came up with a new suggestion. He is now offering citizenship to residents living in areas in eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatist (McKirdy, 2019). These areas are Donetsk and Lugansk. Obviously, Ukraine was not really thrilled by this.
Here it seems that Russian is applying citizenship as part of its hybrid warfare. Russia has stated that it will protect its citizens abroad, it has passed a law that Russia can use their armed forces to provide that protection and lastly it is offering Russian citizenship to people who are still living in the area of another sovereign country. Basically, it is step by stept moving towards a situation when in Russian reality a military interference to east Ukraine could be legitimate. Should enough residents at those areas choose Russian citizenship.
Against this background it might be understandable that former states of the Soviet Union with large Russian minority such as Estonia are reluctant to give out dual citizenship for them. This might create a situation where Russia could possibly try to create a situation where its intervention might seem legitimate. This is the risk that small states bordering with Russia are probably not willing to take. Russia does not share the same values of democracy that eastern European states values. So, the idea that Martin has to favor dual citizenship does not apply here (Martin, 2005). It is also highly unlikely that message of blisses of the democratic system would travel to Russia from east Ukraine or Finland or Estonia to Russia is also highly unlikely. The idea of Spiro that this would happen does not seem to apply here (Spiro, 2005).
I am not saying that Spiros idea or Martins idea is wrong. It just is arguable that these positive developments to happen have some difficulties to apply in all of the situations. Them to take place we have to look at the power dynamics of the states that are offering the nationality. Spiros good intentions work if the country that dual citizens are residents is in this case more powerful and are not facing even a hypothetical threat from the other state of nationality. Or dual citizenship could work when states already share the same values.
By this argument I do not want to understate the positive impact that dual citizenship most probably has on integration. I just argue that in this time it is difficult to make universal conclusions about threats that dual citizenship still might pose in different situation. I still agree that it is not the individuals who pose that threat even when working in high places. In the case with Russia the citizens seem to be just tokens in the larger game. Should they want it or not. Situation in Crimean seem to work well with the fourth point about citizenship that Hansen and Weil make in their writing about past or current residence in the countries past or future or intended borders (Hansen & Weil, 2005).
It is not time for the funeral of nation states (Martin, 2005) and nation states are still the best providers of rights to citizens (Hansen, 2008). Same time globalization on one hand and raise of populism and exclusive nationalism on the other hand. Even if people mover cross borders and create multicultural communities the idea of a nation state is stronger in Europe than it has been for a long time and nation states are not always likeminded of the future of the Europe. Differences in culture and ethnic nationalism is on the table again. Question is: are the nation states as we know them in Europe at the moment the best providers of citizenship, rights and protection? To understand this, we have to look in to the myth of a nation state.
In the 14th century the Ottoman sultan Murad I was trying to expand his empire to Europe. Story tells that brave Serbian knight Milos Obilic assassinated after battle of Kosovo. Story was only recorded decades after the alleged episode. There is no evidence that Milos Obilic ever did what he is claimed to have done. It might as well be just another story, but it is a good story. 1989 in the battlefield were people cathering together to hear Slobodan Milosevic. It was no accident that Milosevic made his speech there. Obilic is hero for Serbians. A glue that stick the nation together. Later Milosevic led Serbs into a very violent war (Aittokoski, 2016).
Serbs are not the only ones with stories to boost their national identity. All nation states have them. These stories are used to boost own national identity overt others. Question remains how this imaginative narrative of nation state has so much power over rational people. These stories make just about as much sense as the story that Sun King got his power straight from God.
Timothy Snyder, the Levin professor of Yale, writes an interesting opinion in Politico about nation states in Europe. He argues that nationalism is not actually conservative idea but a radical one (Snyder, 2019). In his opinion he states that in western Europe the history of nation state is non-existent. Nation state is a fairy-tale that is cherished by friends of EU because it tells a beautiful narrative of learning and progress towards unity. But story is just as well liked by the enemies of the Union who argue that nation states has always been present and so if nation state has chosen to join the Union it can as well leave it (Snyder, 2019). After 1945 European powers kept still colonial wars until they lost them too. So Europe was poor and ruined and old powers had lost their colonies. It was not nation states that started European integration, it was fading and dying empires that had lost their colonies (Snyder, 2019). Snyders point of view is not that EU is not something that is build on nation states but EU is a framework were European states can exist. His importanta argument to those hailing the nation state and moving back to strong nation states is that in western Europe no nation state has ever had to make it on their own (Snyder, 2019).
Hansen, Spiro and Martin seem very sure that nation states are still the best providers of citizenship. How could that be when they are fairy tales ruled whinging small elite without true possibility for long term existence? There is no prove so far that a nation state has provided a very long period of constancy. Perhaps a larger entity like the European Union can offer citizenship with stability. This larger entity could also with time correct the discourse over ethnicity in Europe. And citizenship in this kind of larger entity could offer also better ground for integration for people outside of Europe, since Europe would be ethnically diverse already. European identity would offer a larger frame for Europeans and also people outside of Europe.
In the process of naturalization of third country nationals or granting them possibility for dual citizenship we often clash with the idea of loyalty and also with cultural differences. Leti Volpp writes in her article that noncitizens are often regarded as culturally motivated and citizens motivations can be explained as embracing universal liberal values and rational choice (Volpp, 2007). Europeans emphasize these non-western cultural habits very much and often define them through their intolerance. But as Volpp reminds in her article is that:” The state will feel no need to assert the language of tolerance once the community at issue is considered to be made up of citizens, engaged in acts invisible to us as cultural practices. Unlike the bearers of cultural difference, citizens are part of our everyday world.” (Volpp, 2007). Perhaps quick naturalization could help newcomers integrate faster but it might also help the natives to see past the cultural differences faster.
About loyalty, there is a race going on. In globalizing world of today it is not only nation states that are after loyal followers, but also religions. In Europe the populists are talking about fear of islamisation in Europe and same time they are preaching that it would be dangerous for letting these people into our society. But is the loyalty not possible only as a two-way process? We can assume that most of third country nationals in EU have chosen to come to Europe for its liberal values, and better life. If Europe would treat them with respect and according to those liberal values could we not make the assumption that they would be loyal for it? If nation states side-line the new comers, they cannot expect loyalty from them. But they will find some other party to be loyal to, since people naturally look for belonging. And this loyalty might be harmful for Europe and threat for democracy.
The concept of citizenship, once thought to be a straightforward relationship between an individual and a nation-state, has evolved significantly within the context of globalization and changing political landscapes. The historical importance of citizenship as a marker of identity and rights remains undeniable, yet its interpretation and application have faced new challenges.
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