Citizenship in the migrant life course: 10 observations on immigrant naturalization

Prof. Dr. Maarten Vink, Maastricht University, FASoS

Why do some immigrants acquire the citizenship of the migrant destination country, whereas others do not? Naturalization is traditionally approached in the literature on the basis of a model of subjective utility maximisation. The costs of acquiring a new citizenship can be associated with fees or having to give up one’s origin citizenship, whereas benefits are typically perceived as security in residence status, access to voting rights, increased international mobility, as well as employment and wage premiums. In this seminar I argue that cost-benefit calculations are very relevant in the context of immigrant naturalization, but should be understood in the context of the migrant’s sociological life course.  Hence decisions are made not just by isolated individuals, but affected by the context of the family, the broader living environment and the policy context that can encourage or discourage citizenship take-up. I will share 10 observations based on preliminary results of the MiLifeStatus project, a 5-year research project on immigrant naturalization with a comparative focus.



About the speaker

Maarten Vink (@maartenpvink) 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 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: UNU-MERIT, room 0.18

Date: 12 February 2020

Time: 13:00 - 14:00


UNU-MERIT