Political Parties and Citizenship Legislation Change in EU28 Countries, 1992—2013

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I analyze the changes to naturalization and jus soli legislation in EU28 states between 1992 and 2013, examining the links with the party composition of the cabinet in power. The direction, inclusive or restrictive, of the 104 changes to legislation analyzed, shows a variable but intelligible link to the left–right position and EU Parliament group affiliation of government parties. Distinguishing between EU15 states and post-1995 EU member states results in clearer links between politics and citizenship legislation change in the EU15, and also in less clear links in the post-1995 EU. Finally, a number of different analytical approaches all show limited evidence of the role of far-right xenophobic parties in influencing the direction of the legislation changes, suggesting that the origin of restrictive citizenship legislation could be found in the mainstream right rather than in the far right.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-452
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number4
Early online date11 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Citizenship
  • European Union
  • Political parties
  • Left-right orientation
  • Far right


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