Von ethnischer zu republikanischer Integration. Der Diskurs um die Reform des deutschen Staatsangehörigkeitsrechts

Gerdes, Jürgen; Faist, Thomas
July 2006
Berliner Journal für Soziologie;2006, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p313
Academic Journal
This article analyzes the political debate and the policy process leading up to the unusual outcome of the German Citizenship Law Reform in 1999 in comparative perspective. The reform provided a very liberal ius soli introduction and at the same time kept a restrictive attitude toward dual citizenship. This somewhat contradictory outcome is essentially the result of a compromise between two opposing political camps holding quite different interpretations of the relationship between state and citizen, the function of citizenship law, and the integration of both immigrants and overall society. It is argued that the delay of citizenship law reform in Germany, at least during the last fifteen years, cannot be explained by means of an ethnic concept of nation, as many scholars have contended. Rather it is characterized by a persisting ideological conflict structure, which has been reinforced by institutional patterns of the political and legal system. The opposing views regarding the significance of citizenship are embedded within republicanism, stressing citizenship as activity on the one hand and citizenship as a right on the other hand. The two perspectives differ with respect to the functions of citizenship and the position of state and citizens within polities.


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