The governance of citizenship and belonging in Europe and the European Union

Authored by: Costica Dumbrava

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter discusses key citizenship developments in Europe from the perspective of the enduring tensions between lightening and thickening and between denationalisation and renationalisation. It focuses on five major issues that challenge the ideal type of modern citizenship as territorial, political and national membership, namely, international migration, cross border ethnic minorities, home-grown terrorism, marketization of citizenship and supranational citizenship. Despite talks about the inevitable demise of citizenship, citizenship remains a privileged tool for tackling challenges as various as integrating immigrants, reuniting the nation beyond borders, putting off terrorists or navigating the waters of financial crisis. This rebirth of citizenship comes with both opportunities and risks. On the one hand, reaffirming and debating citizenship could help building more legitimate institutions and more inclusive narratives of belonging. On the other hand, with nationalism rising in Europe and elsewhere, there is a clear danger of the renationalization of citizenship that will revert some of the liberal achievements with regard to immigrants’ easier access to citizenship, greater acceptance of dual citizenship, and stronger guarantees against citizenship deprivation.

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