Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Rethinking Naturalization & Citizenship in Times of Societal Disintegration

10. Juli 2019


In the context of violent conflicts around the globe, aging populations in affluent societies, and increasingly knowledge-based economies, it has become accepted wisdom – in both academic and political debates – that the arrival, settlement, and naturalization of both immigrants and refugees in Western societies are phenomena that are unlikely to disappear in the near future. At the same time, however, Western nation-states have been implementing new ways of tightening the access to citizenship, and there is mounting opposition by native populations in Europe and North America to what they see as the undermining of their social and cultural citizenship rights by alleged global elites and undeserving newcomers.

This workshop asks how, why and with what effects citizenship is granted, claimed, and lived in times of new nationalisms and societies that are increasingly divided along lines of class and culture. Citizenship is usually seen as comprising three dimensions: legal status, some form of social and political participation, and shared identity/belonging. Speakers are invited to address any of the them. Specifically, they may speak to the nature and effects of policies, as well as to the strategies, counter-representations, and negotiations of aspiring, new and born citizens “with a migration background”. Potential questions include:

  • Do the new civic integration policies (at the level of immigration and/or naturalization) facilitate inclusion or exacerbate exclusion, and for whom?
  • Class or culture, how are the boundaries of the nation redefined in civic integration policies and political discourse?
  • Citizenization (Einbürgerung) or Naturalization? What is at stake in granting/obtaining membership in the nation-state and how does this vary across contexts and countries?
  • Why do individuals delay or refuse naturalization? With what consequences for themselves and the country they live in?
  • What is the role of legal status for daily-life experiences and expressions of citizenship?
  • How do newcomers relate to integration and naturalization policies? How do they redefine citizenship?
  • How do racialized migrants and (new) citizens negotiate the new “claims of culture” made by native populations?
  • What are the effects of the “lightening” of (social) citizenship upon the way with think about immigrant incorporation and naturalization?

The aim of the workshop is to identify promising approaches to the study of citizenship in the context of civic integration programmes for immigrants, claims of culture by native populations, and increasing economic disparities even within affluent Western societies. In order to achieve this, the workshop wants to foster discussion, take stock of current research, debates and trends, both theoretical and methodological, as well as uncover gaps and oversights in the literature.

Mi-Do, 10.-11. Juli 2019
Kulturwissenschaftliches Kolleg (Bischofsvilla), Otto-Adam-Str. 5, Konstanz

Externe Teilnehmer sind willkommen, um Anmeldung wird gebeten.


Elke Winter elke.winter[at]uottawa.ca

Agenda_Naturalization_and_Citizenship.pdf128 Ki
List_of_Presenters_final.pdf114 Ki