Going global: opportunities and challenges for the development of a comparative research agenda on citizenship policies at the global level

Thanks to the work undertaken by different research teams (GLOBALCIT, MACIMIDE, MIPEX…), data on citizenship policies are becoming available on a wide range of countries worldwide. The collection of these data makes it possible to develop new comparative research frameworks that go beyond the dominant European/Western-centred perspective that we find in traditional citizenship studies. The development of cross-regional comparative frameworks allows testing the generalisability of explanations for policy-variations more comprehensively and contributes to formulating new hypotheses and theories to account for both convergences and divergences across time and space. However, the need to adapt concepts and measurement tools to the different realities of citizenship at the global level raises important challenges. Drawing on the workshop ‘Going Global: Opportunities and Challenges for the Development of a Comparative Research Agenda on Naturalisation Policies at the Global Level’ that was convened in 2021 at the Robert Schuman Centre, under the framework of the Global Citizenship Governance programme, contributors to this working paper have been invited to reflect on the promises and difficulties that the articulation of a global comparative perspective in citizenship studies involves. Two main recommendations for the advancement of a comparative agenda at the global level stand out from this symposium: the first is to accommodate as much as possible the specificities of each context within the construction of comparative frameworks; the second is to acknowledge the biases and limitations of the perspective that we take as researchers. It therefore emerges that in order to make a distinct contribution to scholarly knowledge by expanding the geographical scope of their investigations, citizenship scholars need to address the challenge of comparability.

Émilien Fargues (ed), Going global: opportunities and challenges for the development of a comparative research agenda on citizenship policies at the global level, Robert Schuman Centre Working Paper, 2022.