Maastricht Migration Lecture Series: Does Citizenship Matter?

Prof. dr. Maarten Vink, Maastricht University

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Does holding citizenship affect migrants’ life experience and, if so, how? In this lecture, we discuss the controversial and complex relation between immigrant naturalization and life experiences within the host society. This relationship is ideologically controversial because some politicians view citizenship as a reward for being a well-integrated immigrant, whereas others see the promise of the full membership of the country of residence and the entitlement to all the rights attached to it as a major incentive for self-empowerment and identification with others in society. The causal relation between citizenship and immigrant integration is scientifically complex as immigrants who are already better integrated are also more likely to naturalize. We discuss key concepts and theories, some comparative facts about citizenship policies in Europe, and findings from ongoing research. Finally, we reflect on how the pandemic may affect these considerations, as migrants will look to formalise their right to remain and reenter the country of naturalisation in the event of a subsequent pandemic or another emergency event, especially if they are able to retain their citizenship of origin. 


About the speaker

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


Venue: UNU-MERIT YouTube

Date: 28 October 2020

Time: 19:00 - 20:30  CEST