Citizenship with a price tag : the law and ethics of investor citizenship programmes
Title: Citizenship with a price tag : the law and ethics of investor citizenship programmes
Author: DZANKIC, Jelena
Citation: Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 2014, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 387–404
Although setting a price tag on membership in a community is intuitively disquieting, there has hitherto been little discussion as to why this might be the case. The primary goal of this article is to set out three sets of criteria against which the different mechanisms of preferential naturalisation of investors can be evaluated. Deploying a critique of the notion of ‘genuine ties’, we first examine whether the economic utility of the investment to the state can suffice to override some or all other criteria for naturalisation. Then, we look at the preferential treatment of investors in the context of merit-based naturalisation. Finally, we examine how the investment-based ius pecuniae affects the relationship between the members of the polity and naturalised investors and between naturalised investors and other applicants subject to ordinary naturalisation. The analysis suggests that, even though all these criteria have pitfalls, the principle that citizenship should instantiate a claim of equality best explains why we are uncomfortable with the idea of selling citizenship.
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