Since the 1990s, dozens of countries changed their laws to permit multiple citizenship. Numerous European Union (EU) countries – including Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Romania – adopted laws that invite co-ethnics, emigrants and their descendants to reacquire citizenship from abroad. Millions of persons in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Israel have taken advantage of this new opportunity and applied for a second, EU citizenship. I analyze this phenomenon on the basis of statistical data and material from interviews with dual citizens. I find that seekers of ancestry-based dual citizenship typically do not emigrate to their “new” countries; instead, they obtain “compensatory citizenship” that provides them with broader opportunities, greater travel freedom, an insurance policy and even a status symbol. This phenomenon reflects the diffusion of an instrumental attitude that treats national citizenship as a form of private property and uses it to secure global advantages.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!