This paper explores a key unintended consequence of the global shift towards greater toleration of dual citizenship: the creation of a new global opportunity structure of citizenship. Millions of people in Latin America, Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the global middle tier may now capitalize on European ancestry or ethnicity to secure a second citizenship from EU countries, while others strategically give birth in the U.S. to secure citizenship for their children. The second, premium nationality does not typically lead to emigration. Instead, it operates as “compensatory citizenship” that provides travel freedom, an insurance policy, global opportunities and even social status. The paper draws on extensive research that is presented in full in a forthcoming book. The project documents the rise of instrumental strategies that decouple nationality from residence and identity, and the emergence of a new attitude that treats citizenship as an asset.
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