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Palgrave Macmillan

Nationality, Citizenship and Ethno-Cultural Belonging

Preferential Membership Policies in Europe

ISBN 9781137382078
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in Citizenship Transitions

This book investigates the legal rules of acquisition and loss of citizenship in Europe. Challenging mainstream arguments about the de-ethnicization of citizenship in Europe, Dumbrava identifies and analyses citizenship regulations that differentiate people on ethno-cultural grounds.

Providing a unique comparative analysis of citizenship laws in thirty eight European countries, this book assesses major justifications for ethno-cultural rules of citizenship. From general legal and normative principles to more specific and contextual justifications, Dumbrava builds a normative framework for analyzing membership of a liberal democratic state.

By disentangling the unitary model of national citizenship that bundles together legal, political, and identity memberships, Citizenship, Nationality and Ethno-Cultural Membership aims to reconcile competing principles of membership and define a more robust set of citizenship regulations.

Costica Dumbrava is Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Political Science of Maastricht University, The Netherlands and Executive Coordinator of the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration, and Development (MACIMIDE). His research interests lie in the field of applied political theory, particularly with regard to the issues of citizenship, migration and nationalism

1. Birthright Citizenship
2. Ordinary Naturalisation
3. Preferential Naturalisation
4. Loss of Citizenship
5. A Sovereign Right
6. A Right to Self-Definition
7. A Remedial Right
8. Normative Framework
9. The Regulation of Legal and Political Membership


"This book combines normative and empirical scrutiny of Europe's citizenship laws. Dumbrava shows why and how these fall short of liberal and democratic standards. As a political theorist, he asks what principles should guide the attribution of citizenship in democratic states; as a comparative political scientist he analyses preferential admission to citizenship on grounds of shared descent, ethnicity and culture in thirty-eight European states. Dumbrava's book does not only demonstrate that there is little convergence towards liberal standards of inclusion. It also develops highly original ideas about the foundations of citizenship. A very important and well-written contribution to a core aspect of democracy." – Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute, Italy
"In this rich and detailed discussion of the role of ethno-cultural preferences in citizenship policies, Costica Dumbrava weaves together original empirical data and normative analyses. He enables us to see both the interpretive puzzles created by the question of what ought to count as an ethno-cultural preference and the normative issues at stake in allowing or forbidding such preferences. This is a valuable contribution." – Joseph Carens, University of Toronto, Canada
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