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Liberalism and citizenship acquisition: how easy should naturalization be?
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 05:26 authored by James HampshireJames Hampshire
Naturalisation policies define the limits of the liberal state in the sense that they stipulate the requirements which foreigners must meet if they wish to become full members of the liberal polity. In this article I explore the normative issues surrounding such policies. I first analyse liberal arguments that support easy naturalisation after a period of residency, and then nationalist arguments that citizenship should only be granted to those who demonstrate assimilation to the national culture. The nationalist argument is rejected on both normative and empirical grounds. The liberal minimalist argument is found to be compelling, but it is argued that there are resources within liberal theories of citizenship which support more demanding naturalisation policies. The article advances a conception of liberal citizenship based on the ideas of liberal virtue and civic competence and then considers the implications of this for naturalisation.
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Department affiliated with
- Politics Publications
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