Dual Nationality as a Global Asset
Princeton University Press, September 2019
Citizenship 2.0 focuses on an important yet overlooked dimension of globalization: the steady rise in the legitimacy and prevalence of dual citizenship. Demand for dual citizenship is particularly high in Latin America and Eastern Europe, where more than three million people have obtained a second citizenship from EU countries or the United States.
Most citizenship seekers acquire EU citizenship by drawing on their ancestry or ethnic origin; others secure U.S. citizenship for their children by strategically planning their place of birth. Their aim is to gain a second, compensatory citizenship that would provide superior travel freedom, broader opportunities, an insurance policy, and even a status symbol.
Drawing on extensive interviews and fieldwork, Yossi Harpaz analyzes three cases: Israelis who acquire citizenship from European-origin countries such as Germany or Poland; Hungarian-speaking citizens of Serbia who obtain a second citizenship from Hungary (and, through it, EU citizenship); and Mexicans who give birth in the United States to secure American citizenship for their children. Harpaz reveals the growth of instrumental attitudes toward citizenship: individuals worldwide increasingly view nationality as rank within a global hierarchy rather than as a sanctified symbol of a unique national identity.
"Citizenship 2.0 makes a significant contribution to comparative studies of citizenship as a legal status. Harpaz has a rare gift for interpreting individual motives and attitudes. With a highly original argument, he teases out all the nuances and emotional ambivalences that drive his respondents toward seeking an external citizenship that they do not intend to fully and immediately use. This book is a real gem." —Rainer Bauböck, author of Democratic Inclusion
"Examining an important, rising trend in today’s global system, Citizenship 2.0 does us a fine service in exploring the origins and consequences of the dual citizenship phenomenon. Harpaz’s analysis is one worth engaging with and holds significant implications for the fields of international migration and international relations.” —Alejandro Portes, Princeton University
"Well-written and thoughtfully structured, Citizenship 2.0 contends that a new pattern has emerged in which significant numbers of people have taken a highly instrumental approach toward the acquisition of dual nationality. The admirable case studies add nuance to the book’s arguments and the quality of the scholarship is high. A pleasure to read." —David FitzGerald, University of California, San Diego
"This excellent book shows that today’s neoliberal states are reaping what they sowed: strategic or instrumental citizenship. Harpaz unpacks subtle layers in individuals’ citizenship strategies through which they navigate a global class structure. The book is innovative for positing citizenship in a context of global inequality." —Christian Joppke, University of Bern