By Aleksandra Maatsch (auth.)
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Extra resources for Ethnic Citizenship Regimes: Europeanization, Post-war Migration and Redressing Past Wrongs
In his view the difference between Western European states that introduce mandatory integration policies and the United States or Australia, where integration policies are voluntary, is that the United States and Australia recruit a highly skilled workforce, while Western Europe receives unskilled migrants, the majority of whom are refugees. The debate between Soysal and Joppke illustrates that, although international human rights have become more influential in citizenship legislation, the role of the nation state actors cannot be underestimated in the process of transposition of international human rights.
In other words, nation states adopt as many international norms as is in the interest of the state actors. A distribution of power among political parties, and the interests of a parliamentarian majority, is often the explanatory factor for policy change. Joppke claimed that, given the special role that state actors play in the process of policy change, both extreme positions in citizenship literature, represented by Rogers Brubaker and Jasemin Soysal, are mistaken. According to Joppke, Brubaker was wrong because national citizenship policies change according to political parties’ preferences.
The second dimension stretches from ethnic, through assimilatory, to neutral national citizenship and measures how privileged the ethnic entitlement is to national citizenship. In this dimension ethnicity, understood as a specific cultural or religious distinctiveness that constitutes a basis for collective identity building, is a barrier to naturalization. In other words, this dimension measures how ethnically exclusive or ethnically blind a given citizenship law is. After assessing the legislative reforms on the two-dimensional scale, it is possible to establish whether the states under study developed in a similar or a different direction.