Naturalization in Context: Migrant Life Course and Institutional Change

Prof. Dr. Maarten Vink, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University

What is the relative influence of characteristics associated with origin country (human development, political regime, dual citizenship acceptance) and the migrant life course (age at migration, marital status, children) on the propensity of immigrants to naturalize, and how do these factors condition the impact of changing citizenship policies in destination countries? Despite a thriving literature on immigrant naturalization, most studies focus on origin country and individual characteristics while attention to institutional variation at the destination country level remains more limited. Data limitations have resulted in analyses that focus mostly on single destination countries and rarely capture policy change over time. This paper draws on micro-level longitudinal data from population registers in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden from 1997 to 2016 (~670k migrants, ~4M observations). These data allow us to track the naturalization propensity of eight migrant cohorts (1994-2001) up to fifteen years after migration. The longitudinal and comparative design of the study enables an analysis of the influence of changing citizenship policies, covering both major institutional changes within countries over time (introduction of formal language requirements and integration tests in Denmark and the Netherlands; acceptance of dual citizenship in Sweden and Denmark) as well as a comparison of long-term differences between these countries.

See for project details: www.milifestatus.com.



About the speaker

Maarten Vink is Professor of Political Sociology at the Department of Political Science, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He is Co-Director of the Maastricht Center for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) and is also a ROA Fellow at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). Vink currently leads the research project “Migrant Life Course and Legal Status Transition (MiLifeStatus)” funded by a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (2016-2021).

Vink is Co-Director of the Global Citizenship Observatory (GLOBALCIT), a web platform that is part of the Global Governance Programme at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. GLOBALCIT provides user-friendly open access to a major worldwide collection of data and analyses on citizenship laws and access to franchise for academic researchers and policy communities.



Venue: 0.16/0.17

Date: 20 February 2019

Time: 13:00 - 14:00


UNU-MERIT