Is there (still) an East-West divide in the conception of citizenship in Europe?
It is common in the literature on nationalism and citizenship to distinguish between civic conceptions of the political community that are seen to prevail in Western Europe and North America and ethnic ones that are said to be characteristics of Central and Eastern Europe. EUDO CITIZENSHIP has invited scholars to answer the question whether this contrast is merely a Western stereotype or can be traced in national citizenship laws and policies. ..In his opening article, Andrè Liebich highlights several important historical conditions shared by the former communist accession states to the European Union. Among these are not only long periods of authoritarian rule, but also the comparatively recent formation as independent states and a lack of recent experience with and recognition for ethno-linguistic diversity. Liebich observes a dramatic difference between Western and Eastern European states specifically with regard to birthright acquisition by ius soli or ius sanguinis and predicts that the new member states will find it hard to adapt their citizenship regimes to the fact that they, too, are now becoming countries of immigration.. .Five authors respond to André Liebich's analysis, partly pointing to empirical evidence of strongly ethnic conceptions of citizenship in some of the "old" EU member states, and partly challenging the attempt to fit countries with quite different histories into geographical blocks that are then contrasted with each other. The debate concludes with a rejoinder by André Liebich in which he replies to his critics. .
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