Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Third Gate: Naturalization Legislation in Central and Eastern Europe
by Shadley, Anna, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2008, 241; 10631256
Abstract (Summary)

Through citizenship laws, a state defines its population and identifies who belongs and who does not. This notion is intuitive, but how does a state decide who gets to be a member? Moreover, citizenship requirements vary dramatically around the globe. Thus, the central question of my study is this: why is it easier to become a citizen in some countries than in others?

Because the current understanding of citizenship issues is based primarily on analyses of the established democracies of the West, I expand the scope of these studies by investigating these issues in the post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. Many of these states are newly independent, allowing me to capture issues of citizenship at a founding moment for emerging democracies. They are addressing questions of nationhood and constitution-building for the first time in decades.

Once limited to places of transit migration, these states are now destinations for immigrants. Ethnic tensions, democratization, economic incentives, and newfound mobility are feeding into migratory patterns. Yet the post-communist states are simply not accustomed to being terminuses for migration. Given their history and their present political and economic situations, they are poorly equipped to deal with these new demands.

I construct an analytical framework that remedies the lack of theoretical agenda in previous works on citizenship policy and law. My framework is composed of two differing perspectives on the central dynamics of naturalization legislating, one focusing on domestic factors and the other on international ones. My analysis of these approaches is informed by normative understandings of what membership should look like in liberal democracies.

My research combines cross-national analysis of data from 27 countries in Eastern and Central Europe with in-depth qualitative case studies of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I single out these two countries for deeper research because they do not always follow the theoretical predictions. The multi-method approach I use enables me to first gain an understanding of the general patterns of the region before delving into an in-depth examination of particular cases.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shabad, Goldie
Commitee: Mughan, Anthony, Neblo, Michael
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science
Keywords: Citizenship, Citizenship legislation, Eastern europe, Naturalization, Naturalization law, Postcommunism
Publication Number: 10631256
ISBN: 978-0-355-01527-0
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