Dossier

Ausgabe 9

Foreigners' Policy, Differentiated Citizenship Rights, and Naturalisation

Seite 6
Hans-Rudolf Wicker

The shift from multicultural and post- national perspectives to citizenship and migration issues compels scholars to analyse more deeply the impact of nation- states on immigrants and foreigners. Hence, the author addresses the special social field in which different kinds of foreigners live: residents, refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and others. He argues that this field consists of three separate yet interconnected spheres. The first is the sphere of entry where immigration control dominates; the second is the sphere of residence and settlement where immigrants become foreigners and live with restricted civil and political rights; and the third is the sphere of naturalisation where foreigners finally become citizens. Comparative historical analysis shows that two main patterns of migration policy exist. Old immigration countries emphasise selective measures in the sphere of immigration control rather than in the sphere of naturalisation, while for a long time European countries managed immigration in a more liberal way and, conversely, strengthened the selective nature of naturalisation practices. Over the last decades, both systems have developed a kind of negative «differentiated citizenship» aimed at controlling and disciplining those foreigners who live in the intermediary sphere.