In recent decades, European governments have faced persistent pressures to manage the effects of mass immigration on their societies. As a result, citizenship policies have received increasing amounts of attention from both policymakers and scholars alike. However, to date, it remains unclear how these policies regulating political membership have changed over time, and whether these policies have converged or diverged in their requirements for membership. To answer these questions, this article advances a new theoretical and empirical expansion of existing scholarship on citizenship. With data collected from national citizenship policies across 16 Western European countries from 1970 to 2017, the author of this article constructs a two-dimensional framework of citizenship acquisition requirements in order to test a number of extant hypotheses regarding citizenship policy trends over the last five decades. Through an examination of aggregated country-year scores and correlation analysis, the author finds that concurrent trends of both convergence and divergence are occurring in Western Europe over time and that most states have largely abandoned their traditional approaches to citizenship and immigrant incorporation as they adapt more open yet more regulated strategies to address the contemporary realities of immigration.
John D. Graeber, Quo vadis, citizenship? A long-term assessment of policy continuity, convergence, and change in contemporary Europe, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 2020.