LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets once every two weeks during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.
In the LEGS seminar on March 1, John Palmer will present "Quantifying the Legal Value of Naturalization in Europe Over Time: The Changing Economic, Social and Political Rights of Long-Term Residents in Eighteen European States."
The paper is available here (password required).
Here is John's abstract:
This article quantifies and compares the rights people gain when they acquire the citizenship of particular states through naturalization. It examines variation in these rights over time and across different categories of residents eligible for naturalization in eighteen European countries: the fifteen states that formed the European Union prior to its most recent rounds of enlargement (the "EU15") plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. The aim is to measure past and present gaps between the rights of a state's citizens and those of the immigrants and refugees who are in a position to acquire its citizenship but have not done so. While these gaps are usually much smaller than those faced by persons not eligible for citizenship, they are significant for what they tell us about the meaning of formal citizenship status and the value of naturalization in each given state. By quantifying the gaps, we can better answer questions about why people do or do not naturalize and about how immigration and naturalization affect individuals and societies. This article develops a set of indices that may be used by legal scholars, political scientists, economists, and sociologists in analyzing such questions.