English title: Comparative Citizenship: An Agenda for Cross-National Research
Author(s): Marc Morjé Howard -
Type: Journal article
In this article, I attempt to integrate the study of citizenship into debates in comparative politics, in two different ways. First, I justify the real-world importance of the topic, and thereby encourage other scholars to grapple with its manifestations and implications. Second, I present some suggestive evidence, based on the 15 “older” countries of the European Union (EU). The findings not only illustrate the extent of cross-national variation in citizenship policies at two different time periods, but they help to demonstrate the applicability of comparative analysis to categorizing and explaining both long-lasting cross-national differences and more recent change in some countries. In explaining the historical variation within the EU, I consider whether or not a country had a prior experience as a colonial power, as well as whether it became a democracy in the nineteenth century. In accounting for continuity or change over the last few decades, I argue that while various international and domestic pressures have led to liberalization in a number of countries, these usually occurred in the absence of public discussion and involvement. In contrast, when public opinion gets mobilized and engaged on issues related to citizenship reform—usually by a well-organized far right party, but also sometimes by a referendum or petition campaign—liberalization is usually blocked, or further restrictions are introduced. This finding raises important, paradoxical, and troubling questions about the connection between democratic processes and liberal outcomes.
From page no: 443
To page no: 455
Journal: Perspectives on Politics