Soziologie

Citizenship and Immigration in Europe

Donnerstag, 12.03.2020

Should terrorists be deprived of their French citizenship? Should Malta be allowed to sell its citizenship to foreign investors? Should social benefits be limited to national citizens and be withheld from other EU citizens? These are some of the ways in which citizenship has recently made headlines in Europe. While these questions speak to different issues, from security to growth and welfare, they all firmly locate citizenship in a context of immigration. Indeed, citizenship law is the main mechanism by which national societies control their boundaries and decide “who” they want to be. If, today, we live in “diverse” or “multicultural” societies, the major reason is that immigration and citizenship laws have allowed them to become so. Interestingly, when “citizenship” entered the sociological lexicon, it was entirely unconnected to migration. In liberal postwar sociology, “citizenship” was the answer to the Marxist scenario of polarizing class conflict, which was losing credibility in the context of mounting affluence and social rights. But contemporary migration has shattered the optimistic scenario of citizenship as equality-spender. Citizenship now appeared in a different, less liberal light, as mechanism of closure that sharply demarcates the world’s nation-states from one another. In this more hard-nosed optic, citizenship blocks inter-state mobility and allows states to exist as relatively closed, self-reproducing units. This course reviews the new academic field of “citizenship and immigration”, with a focus on Europe. It brings to light some important changes that citizenship in Europe has undergone in the course of contemporary migration, and which have not always been adequately grasped. This migration occurs in a distinct historical context, marked by the rise of universal human rights norms. They made citizenship more porous and less discriminatory, but also less nationally distinct than in the past. It is a truism that in the era of globalization national societies are much less the sharply bounded, autarchic units that they used to be. Citizenship has been centrally involved in this transformation, both as dependent and as independent variable.

Dozierende(r): Prof. Dr. Christian Georg Joppke
12.03.2020:14:15 - 16:00
Ort: EG, Seminarraum 005
Seminargebäude vonRoll
Fabrikstrasse 2e

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