Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany

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Music Neuroscience Philosophy Physical Sciences. Citizenship and Nationhood. The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship. Read More. Subscriber sign in. Nathans also lays out causal links to specific changes in citizenship policies, most notably those of , , , , and Simultaneously, Nathans describes how aspects of these policies discriminated not only against "foreigners," but also women.

Ultimately, Nathans suggests that despite apparent continuities in policies, naturalization laws were products of conflict, not consensus. Nathans also asserts, however, that throughout the time period under consideration, policies continually restricted the naturalization of certain ethnic groups, namely Poles and Jews.

Nathan begins by describing how, in the s, inadequacies in existing laws and treaties governing citizenship generated an increasing number of disputes over the naturalization of individuals in the German states. Previously, local communities had for the most part controlled the granting of citizenship to outsiders.


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  7. Desirable immigrants who would contribute to the economic well-being of the community might be granted citizenship, but those who could not prove they had sufficient resources were often denied citizenship because they might someday need poor relief. Gradually, however, states tried to regulate the movement of people more closely in order to promote the economic interests of the state itself. Concurrently, new theories of the state and nation by Adam Smith, Georg Friedrich Hegel, and Johann Gottlieb Fichte provided state governments with rationales for asserting such centralized control over immigration and naturalization.

    Whereas Smith and Hegel gave ideological justifications for measures that were both authoritarian and liberal, Nathans argues, Fichte's ideas of German nationality had little effect until the late nineteenth century. Nathans then takes Prussia as a starting point from which to examine how these theoretical teachings were put into practice. He argues that the law outlining descent from a Prussian father as the principal basis for the transmission of Prussian citizenship not only reflected these theories of the state's obligation to protect the common good, but also highlights the key role that military service played in the relationship between state and subject in Prussia.


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    6. It also required that the Interior Ministry approve all Jewish petitions for citizenship. Nathans also maintains that the ideas of citizenship promoted by the revolutionaries of and the s were real alternatives in a more federal German state.

      Citizenship Nationhood France Germany by Rogers Brubaker

      Similar to Bismarck, the revolutionary leaders sought to create a more united Germany that included neighboring lands and individuals who were not necessarily ethnic Germans. The revolution's failure, however, opened a window for tighter central control over inclusion and exclusion as governments sought to expel potential sources of further revolution. During this period, moral issues also became increasingly important in determining whether an individual was a desirable immigrant worthy of naturalization or an undesirable element deserving expulsion.

      After unification in , Bismarck instituted more explicitly ethnically exclusionary policies in Prussia. Nathans explains this shift under Bismarck by exploring the personal role the statesman played in the control of immigration and nationalization. Bismarck's calculations of national interest, his defense of authoritarian political institutions, and his combative personality led to increasingly firmer policies that discriminated against Jews and Poles.

      In , for example, Bismarck ordered the expulsion of Jews and Poles living in the eastern provinces of Prussia. Nathans argues that this move effectively ended opportunities for Jewish and Polish immigration and inaugurated ethnically exclusive naturalization policies in Prussia p.

      A government treatise written in provided general outlines for exclusion, and signaled out ethnic groups such as Jews, Poles, Czechs, and Danes especially, but there was never an official written declaration of which categories required the Interior Minister's approval. Shortly before World War I, foreign policy interests, as well as internal pressures, forced yet another revision of citizenship policies. Rather than surrendering German citizenship upon emigration, a German citizen could now retain his German citizenship while living abroad--so long as he petitioned the local consulate and fulfilled his military service requirement.

      These changes, Nathans claims, reflected the state's imperial interests in using Germans abroad to further its goals, as well as the government's apparent concessions to nationalist pressure groups. The law, however, still further solidified national control over naturalization policies. Switching gears from Bismarck's role, Nathans briefly discusses the ramifications of the shift to a republican government in He states that the barriers against the naturalization of non-Germans became more rigid as the s were a period of intense xenophobia.

      Prussia, for example, imposed a ten-year residency requirement in , which it raised to fifteen years in He also examines the challenges made by the women's movement to citizenship laws that determined that a woman's citizenship was tied to that of her husband.

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      A German woman who married a foreigner, for example, lost her German citizenship; similarly, a man who married a German woman did not acquire her German citizenship. Somewhat provocatively, however, Nathans then suggests a lack of continuity between National Socialist policies and those of previous governments. He claims that "since Nazi goals differed fundamentally from those of earlier German states, and since citizenship and naturalization policies directly touched on issues that were central to the Nazi's project, to a large extent the legislation which the regime inherited in this area became irrelevant" p.

      The racial hierarchies created by the National Socialist regime thus became the guiding markers of citizenship and naturalization because they determined who would be accepted, who would be tolerated, and who needed to be eliminated from the German nation. The National Socialists also utilized the legal power to revoke citizenship more extensively and effectively than ever before.

      Nathans's insistence that Hitler "broke with nineteenth-century patterns and precedents" p. In many respects, the National Socialists, like Bismarck, used citizenship policies as ways in which to achieve political ends and to exercise control in the shaping of the German nation-state. Moreover, Nathans never clearly draws a distinction between "ethnic" and "racial" criteria, which perhaps stems from his failure to provide even working definitions of "ethnicity" or "race.