Accounting for Change in Diverse Societies

Citizenship, Nationality and Immigration in Germany

Publication Date: April 2017

Jan Dobbernack

Jan Dobbernack is a Jean Monnet Fellow in the Cultural Pluralism research area of the Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute, a Lecturer in Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln, and a research fellow at the Ethnicity Research Centre, University of Bristol. His fields of research are political contestations about post-immigrant populations in Western Europe and the circulation of ideas and concepts in this area.

Starting in the 1960s, Germany experienced a surge in immigration, predominantly from Turkey. These immigrants were essential to Germany’s economic growth, but the country was slow to recognize these migrants as citizens. Citizenship reforms introduced in 2000 have widened the terms of state membership, but fears over the “divided loyalties” of immigrants persist among many Germans. What has been the public conversation in Germany – among conservatives and liberals – as access to citizenship has expanded? What have been the catalysts for greater pluralism as well as the sources of resistance since Germany’s reunification?

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