SWISSCIT: Index on Citizenship Law in Swiss Cantons

In the Swiss federal context, the acquisition of citizenship through ordinary naturalisation, the enjoyment of electoral rights as a foreign resident, and the retention of the franchise as a Swiss citizen abroad is not uniformly defined through a single federal law but co-determined by the cantons. In this explanatory note, the authors introduce SWISSCIT, a set of indicators measuring how inclusive cantonal citizenship policies are through a systematic comparison of the legislation in force as of 31 December 2017 in the 26 cantons. The dataset comprises three separate aggregated indicators, measuring the legislation on 1) ordinary naturalisation of foreign residents; 2) the right to vote and stand as candidate of foreign residents in local and cantonal elections; and 3) the right to vote and stand as candidate of Swiss citizens abroad in their municipality and canton of origin. The note successively discusses issues of conceptualisation, measurement and aggregation. By making their methodology fully transparent, the authors follow what has become common practice in index-building and encourage users to make use of these data in their own research.

Jean-Thomas Arrighi and Lorenzo Piccoli, SWISSCIT: Index on Citizenship Law in Swiss Cantons, nccr – on the move working papers series, 2018