Inclusion or conflicts of loyalty? 15 years of dual citizenship in Finland

Finland accepted multiple citizenship with a broad consensus across the political parties in 2003. However, it was not until the autumn of 2014 that the issue of dual citizenship reached public consciousness when President of the Republic highlighted the need for a comparative review of multiple citizenship and its conditions in different countries. This request came around the same time as Russia introduced new legislation on the compulsory registration of foreign citizenships and the Ukraine crisis had intensified in the spring and summer of 2014. Read More …

Brazil: the Supreme Electoral Court wiped out voters’ registrations

On October 7, 3.3 million voters received an unwelcome surprise on Election Day in Brazil. They were, in fact, no longer voters. Roughly half of the country’s municipalities had moved to compulsory biometric identification for this election, which required voters to go to the Electoral Court in their region and register their fingerprints.

Voter registration was a big flashpoint in the U.S., possibly affecting the turnout of certain segments of the population disproportionately. Might it have had an effect on the Brazilian election as well? After all, any possible effect would not have been captured by polls, since voters with cancelled registration would likely have not known and responded to polls as likely voters. This would mean that our pre-electoral predictions would have been off-base if there truly was an influence. Read More …

How the EU Mitigates a Fundamental Democratic Deficit of European Nation-States

The European Union, many believe, has a democratic deficit. The sovereign nation-state is seen as democratically superior. Even more, it is often argued that the EU undermines the functioning of national democracies, compounding this alleged democratic deficit.

In our article we show that when it comes to the electoral inclusion of immigrants, nation states suffer from a democratic deficit and the EU plays a democracy-enhancing role. European democracies are much more exclusive than they should be according to normative standards derived from democratic theory. The EU has been key to mitigating the exclusiveness of democracies. By requiring its member states to enfranchise non-national EU citizens on the local level, it pushes one of the currently most relevant “frontiers of democracy” in the right direction. Read More …

ECHR Alpeyeva and Dzhalagoniya v. Russia: mass-confiscation of passports violates article 8

On the 12th of June the ECHR declared a violation of the right to private life (article 8) of two individuals who were left stateless in Russia for several years as a result of bureaucratic deficiencies not attributable to them. The judgment strengthens even further the Court’s earlier case law on the connection between nationality rights, statelessness, and article 8 of the ECHR. Read More …

Square pass(ports): football and citizenship in the 2018 World Cup

Unlike his younger brother Granit, who plays for the Swiss national team, in 2014 the Basel-born Taulant Xhaka opted to play for Albania, the country in which his parents were born. The two brothers did not play against each other at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, but Granit Xhaka and the Swiss team crossed paths with several players who had previously been on the country’s youth squad. Read More …

The ‘Windrush Generation’ and Citizenship

Commonwealth citizens who came to the UK in the period after the Second World War are now close to retirement age and their right to live in the UK has come under challenge, with catastrophic consequences for some. The story has become a major political scandal and has led to the resignation of the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. It is a rare instance of public and mainstream media support for migrants. Read More …

“Restore the factory settings”: Efforts to control executive discretion in nationality administration in Africa

March 2018 saw a series of bold rulings by African courts to protect both prominent politicians and ordinary people against excessive discretion in decisions relating to the right to a nationality. Most notably, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in its first decision touching on nationality administration, found Tanzania in violation of norms against arbitrary deprivation of nationality. Read More …