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Practising citizenship and heterogeneous nationhood : naturalisations in Swiss municipalities


Helbling, Marc

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Abstract Switzerland likely has the most particular naturalization system in the world. Whereas in most countries citizenship attribution is regulated at the central level of the state, in Switzerland each municipality is accorded the right to decide who can become a Swiss citizen. This book aims at exploring naturalization processes from a comparative perspective and to explain why some municipalities pursue more restrictive citizenship policies than others. The Swiss case provides a unique opportunity to approach citizenship politics from new perspectives. It allows us to go beyond formal citizenship models and to account for the practice of citizenship. The analytical framework combines quantitative and qualitative data and helps us understand how negotiation processes between political actors lead to a large variety of local citizenship models. An innovative theoretical framework, integrating Bourdieu's political sociology, combines symbolic and material aspects of naturalizations and underlines the production processes of ethnicity.

Zwitserland heeft waarschijnlijk het meest uitzonderlijke naturalisatiesysteem ter wereld: staatsburgerschap wordt toegewezen op gemeentelijk niveau en niet vanuit de centrale overheid. Dit boek bestudeert naturalisatieprocessen vanuit een vergelijkend perspectief en probeert te verklaren waarom sommige gemeenten strengere regels hanteren dan anderen. Het Zwitserse voorbeeld geeft een unieke mogelijkheid om voorbij de formele staatsburgerschapmodellen te kijken.
Keywords Switzerland; naturalization; political system; citizenship; political sociology; ethnicity; decision making process; political decision; process; political actor; referendum; immigration policy
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Publisher Amsterdam Univ. Press
City Amsterdam
Page/Pages 214 p.
Series IMISCoe Dissertations
ISBN 978-90-8964-034-5
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works