E.g., 09/25/2020
E.g., 09/25/2020

Citizenship & Civic Engagement

Citizenship & Civic Engagement

Citizenship brings many benefits to immigrants and to their country of settlement, and represents a dynamic policy vehicle for promoting the political incorporation of immigrants and, by extension, their more complete integration. Naturalization allows immigrants to participate fully in the civic life of their new country, and is a powerful symbolic gesture of their commitment to their host society. The research collected here examines citizenship policies in a number of countries, the economic effects of citizenship, dual citizenship, citizenship by descent or birth in the territory, and the application and processing of citizenship applications.

Recent Activity

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Reports
February 2012
By Will Kymlicka
Reports
March 2011
By Elizabeth Collett
Policy Briefs
September 2010
By Michael Fix and Jennifer Van Hook
Books
April 2009

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The U.S. immigrant population—estimated at 40.8 million in 2012 — is the nation’s historical numerical high, and it is also the largest foreign-born population in the world. About 20 percent of all international migrants reside in the United States, even as the country accounts for less than 5 percent of global population. This article presents the latest, most sought-after data on immigrants in the United States—by origin, residence, legal status, deportations, languages spoken, and more—in one easy-to-use resource.

In recent years, many governments have tightened their citizenship requirements as a way to promote better immigrant integration. In examining citizenship policy in the United States, Canada, and countries in the European Union, this article considers the balance policymakers face between requirements that may be too difficult for immigrants to meet and ones that will better help them find success in their new countries of residence.

Latinos in the United States are a fast-growing community that is strategically situated in the 2008 elections. Mark Hugo Lopez and Susan Minushkin of Pew Hispanic Center review the results of a recent survey of Hispanic voters.

At its most basic, citizenship refers to membership conferred by a state. Greta Gilbertson of Fordham University outlines the many citizenship models and looks at the recent growth of multiple, supranational, and quasi-citizenship.

Jeffrey S. Passel of the Urban Institute examines how demographics, politics, and geography affect the political impact of Latinos and Asians.

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Recent Activity

Articles

What happens when a country reverts to an earlier citizenship policy? When Estonia did just that after gaining independence in 1991, a new class of stateless residents emerged, comprised of Soviet-era Russian-speaking migrants and their descendants. This article explores the effects of Estonia's post-Soviet citizenship policy on its Russian-speaking population, particularly with regard to political participation and civic engagement.

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A number of high-profile terrorist attacks in the West have raised questions about why geopolitical events sometimes trigger strong, violent reactions in certain diaspora communities, but not in others. What could be behind this divergence in responses? This article examines how Muslim communities in London and Detroit have reacted to conflict abroad, as well as the factors that drive reactive conflict spillover.

Commentaries
March 2017

The failure of Geert Wilders’ right-wing, anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV) to become the top vote-getter in the Dutch parliamentary elections is being hailed as proof of the limits of anti-Muslim rhetoric and even the “waning” of the appeal of right-wing populism. But as this commentary explores, a closer reading leads one to a more nuanced interpretation of the results and the recognition that Wilders will remain a major force.

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In recent years, Switzerland has become a popular destination for highly skilled migrants, including from the Senegambia region of West Africa. Meanwhile, migration also flows the opposite way with Swiss migrants heading to Senegal and The Gambia. This article compares and contrasts the experiences of these migrants at destination as well as their motivations to migrate and attitudes toward remittances and citizenship.

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More than 653,000 immigrants became U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2014, bringing the total number of naturalized U.S. citizens to 20 million—nearly half the overall immigrant population of 42.4 million. Over the past decade, naturalizations have ranged from about 537,000 yearly to just more than 1 million. Learn more about naturalization trends in the United States with this Spotlight article.

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Get all the latest and historical facts and figures on immigrants and immigration in the United States in this handy resource. With immigration often surfacing in public and political debates, learn the answers to such questions as: How do current immigration flows compare to earlier ones? How many unauthorized immigrants live in the United States? How many refugees are admitted annually? And get answers to many more questions.

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At least 10 million people worldwide are stateless, including 1 million in West Africa, though experts believe the true number may be much higher. West Africa's colonial heritage and nationality laws have increased the risk of statelessness, particularly for vulnerable social groups including migrants and their descendants, refugees, and children. Governments across the region have recently initiated action plans to eradicate statelessness, as this feature explores.

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In August 2015, India and Bangladesh officially exchanged 162 enclaves, marking the end of a 300-year old anomaly that saw the fragmented territory of one sovereign power located inside another sovereign territory. Enclave residents have lived in virtual statelessness since partition in 1947, without identity documents or access to essential services. As part of the deal, India and Bangladesh allowed residents to choose their country of citizenship.

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