WorkShop 09: Migration and Dual Citizenship in Northern Africa and the Balkans

Twelfth Mediterranean Research Meeting 2011

Migration and Dual Citizenship in Northern Africa and the Balkans: Comparisons and Entanglements

 

directed by:

Delphine Perrin

European University Institute, Italy

delphine.perrin@eui.eu

Constantin  Iordach

Central European University, Hungary

iordachinc@ceu.hu  

 

Abstract

In the last decades, an exponential increase in international mobility has led to an unprecedented proliferation of dual citizenship, as a joint result of multiple interactions between individual life strategies, state citizenship policies, and inter-states relationships. In this context, the workshop aims to study comparatively – in time and space – the evolution of dual citizenship in Northern Africa and the Balkans. The two regions share several common geopolitical, historical, and demographic features, which set them apart as interrelated and particularly interesting case studies regarding dual citizenship. The workshop will bring together researchers working on countries in the two regions or on dual citizenship at international level, from different disciplines and academic backgrounds, most importantly history, legal studies, political science, international relations, sociology and anthropology. On the basis of case-study research or thematic historical overviews, we propose to engage in intra-regional and inter-regional comparisons. Participants to the workshop will try to identify similarities and differences in the evolution of dual citizenship in the two regions, analyze common demographic and legal-political entanglements and transfers (either bilateral, or in relation to the wider Mediterranean world or other historical regions, such as Western Europe) and—on this basis—derive general conclusions about policies and practices of dual citizenship in Northern Africa and the Balkans, and their political, demographic, and socio-cultural impact at regional and global levels.

 

Workshop Description

Dual citizenship is one expression of the process of intensified mobility across geographical, political, or social-cultural borders. Recent migration flows, as well as state policies favoring or obstructing these migration flows, have led to an increasing diversity in collective and individual identities worldwide. In this context, the unprecedented proliferation in dual citizenship has been an outcome of the interaction between individual interests and the overlapping state policies on citizenship.

Northern Africa and the Balkans display several common geographical, historical, demographic and political features, which set them apart as interrelated and particularly interesting case studies regarding dual citizenship. From a geopolitical point of view, both historical regions constitute “buffer" or contact zones between the European Union, (with Romania, Bulgaria and Greece as EU member countries), and Sub-Saharan Africa or Eastern Europe, respectively. From a historical point of view, both regions share a common Ottoman imperial legacy (partial, yet very significant in Northern Africa as well), and a rich history of interactions within the large framework of the Mediterranean segment of the Ottoman economy. In the modern period, both regions were in a position of colonial or semi-colonial dependency on Western Europe, which provided them with normative models of state-building and socio-political development. After World War II, most countries in the Balkans partially decoupled from Western models of development due to the process of Sovietization, while Northern Africa gradually redefined its relation to Western Europe through the process of decolonization resulting in the creation and consolidation of independent nation-states in the region. More recently, both regions have experienced massive migration movements from, to, and through their territory. In the past thirty years, in particular, the two regions have been subject to out-emigration of a huge number of nationals, but also to the immigration of new comers and the return of some of the former emigrates. As part of these complex processes, the legal framework governing conditions of access to state citizenship in both regions has been significantly redefined, with a strong impact on dual citizenship.

 Our workshop aims to study comparatively–in time and space–the evolution of the legal framework and political debates on dual citizenship in Northern Africa (i.e. Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Egypt) and the Balkans (i.e. Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Bosnia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania) Participants will attempt to identify similarities and differences in the evolution of dual citizenship in the two regions, analyze common demographic and legal-political entanglements and transfers (either bilateral, or in relation to the wider Mediterranean world or other historical regions, such as Western Europe) and—on this basis—derive general conclusions about policies and practices of dual citizenship in Northern Africa and the Balkans, and their political, demographic, and socio-cultural impact at regional and global levels.

 A comprehensive study of dual citizenship poses numerous theoretical and methodological challenges. Dual citizenship is one of the possible relationships between states and citizen(s). It results from the interaction between the socio-political interests of a certain individual or ethnic group, on the one hand, and the overlapping citizenship or national policies of the states with which he/she/it comes into contact. One can therefore distinguish among multiple stakes entangled in dual citizenship at three main inter-related levels: the individual economic and political interests of citizens at the grass-roots level; the national level of the state, represented by state agencies or political elites; and the inter-state level resulting from the overlapping or contradictions among the citizenship legislation of various states. In order to provide a comprehensive understanding of states' policies and attitudes pertaining to dual citizenship in the two regions, our workshop will combine the formal legal aspects of dual citizenship with issues of socio-political transformation. We will emphasize, in particular, the following main issues: 1) the links between citizenship policies and states' attempts to control or shape migration flows in accord to their demographic or socio-political interest; 2) the use of citizenship as a tool of nation- and state-building; 3) citizenship entitlements for kin-minorities abroad; and 4) the uses and abuses of dual citizenship at grass-roots level, accounting for individual motivations in applying for dual citizenship and the potential impact of dual citizenship on individuals life trajectories.

 

We welcome contributions addressing the following research questions and directions of research:

 

- Dual citizenship and migration policies: how do migration and citizenship policies interact at national, regional and international levels?

- State attitudes towards dual citizenship in the two regions, ranging from hostility or reluctance to accept it to tolerance or active promotion of dual citizenship policies.

- Inter-state litigations on dual citizenship: how do states in the two regions deal with issues of multiple state affiliations? How has dual citizenship affected patterns of inter-state relations in the two regions?

- The international, supra-national dimension of dual citizenship, the emergence of international political standards on citizenship legislation, minority protection and human rights, as well as the European and the wider international framework of inter-state mediation and consultation, and its impact shaping of citizenship policies in the two regions.

 - “Co-ethnic” citizenship policies: how to conciliate the need for external minority protection or for granting national membership to kin-minorities abroad with inter-states litigations over overlapping citizenries?

- The status of dual citizens in various polities: what are the legal-political implications in terms of the rights and duties of dual citizens?

- Modes of acquisition of dual citizenship (e.g.: ascription at birth, naturalization upon reaching adulthood, acquisition by marriage, in host country or state of origin)

- Is there a gender dimension in the proliferation of dual citizenship? Women's legal and socio-political status and the impact of women's legal emancipation on the proliferation of dual citizenship.

 

On the basis of these case studies, the workshop will try to derive more general conclusions about the evolution of—and multiple challenges to—dual citizenship in Northern Africa,  the Balkans, and the wider Mediterranean world.

 

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals of circa 750 words is 15 July 2010. Applications should be submitted on-line through the electronic application form available at the following web address: http://www.eui.eu/RSCAS/Med/mrm2011/.

 

The final list of selected workshop participants will be communicated by 1 September 2010.

 

Participants are expected to submit the final version of their paper no later than 15 February 2011. They will be invited to attend an international workshop in Montecatini (Tuscany, Italy) on 6 – 9 April 2011. The proceedings of the workshop will be published in an edited volume with an established academic press.

 

Page last updated on 07 October 2010