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What does it mean to be a citizen? The perspectives of immigrants and natives in Europe

Donnaloja, Victoria (2022) What does it mean to be a citizen? The perspectives of immigrants and natives in Europe. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004541


The key question underpinning my doctoral thesis is: what does it mean to be a citizen? I build on political-philosophical research that identifies the principles governing the granting of citizenship to immigrants in liberal democracies. I complement this literature that is mostly theoretical in orientation by investigating the meaning of citizenship from the point of view of the general public. That includes both native citizens who, by voting, indirectly decide on the criteria for naturalisation, and immigrants who do not hold citizenship and sometimes seek it. An obstacle to studying citizenship empirically is lack of data, as most surveys conflate national identity and citizenship, and treat citizenship as a time-invariant status. Moreover, survey data on people’s opinions and preferences over citizenship boundaries are rare. In my research I overcome these challenges by being creative with data sources and methodological approaches. My PhD contributes to our understanding of how the function and value of citizenship is changing in response to migration. Understanding the reasons for and the effects of the acquisition of citizenship tells us whether this institution holds identitarian significance for immigrants and if it is conducive to their inclusion. Identifying the attitudes towards the inclusion of immigrants as citizens is informative of the dominant narratives around what it takes to be a national and of whether citizenship matters to the native population.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2022 Victoria Donnaloja
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Platt, Lucinda and Jenkins, Stephen

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