Ethnicizing citizenship, questioning membership : explaining the decreasing family migration rights of citizens in Europe
Title: Ethnicizing citizenship, questioning membership : explaining the decreasing family migration rights of citizens in Europe
Citation: Citizenship studies, 2016, Vol. 20, No. 6-7, pp. 779-794
ISSN: 1362-1025; 1469-3593
Citizenship does not equal belonging. In this paper, we investigate how the disjunction between the ‘imagined community’ and the formal citizenry impacts on citizens’ rights. In particular, we analyse decision-making on the family migration rights of citizens in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Our analysis shows that in these three countries, notwithstanding their different migration and citizenship regimes, the reduction of citizens’ family migration rights is based on the same discursive mechanism: the ‘membership’ of citizens of migrant origin who marry a partner from abroad is called into question. As they are excluded from membership of the imagined community, their entitlement to family migration rights is decreased. Ethnic conceptions of national community, intersecting with gender and class, play a crucial role in shaping the rights attached to citizenship in Europe today.
Received 14 Jul 2015, Accepted 18 Jan 2016, Published online: 01 Jun 2016
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