In the migration seminar offered jointly by MGSoG/UNU-MERIT in collaboration with MACIMIDE (Maastricht University), Prof. Dr. Maarten Vink presented about Naturalization in Context: Migrant Life Course and Institutional Change. The seminar was held on 20 February 2019.
What is the relative influence of characteristics associated with origin country (human development, political regime, dual citizenship acceptance) and the migrant life course (age at migration, marital status, children) on the propensity of immigrants to naturalize, and how do these factors condition the impact of changing citizenship policies in destination countries? Despite a thriving literature on immigrant naturalization, most studies focus on origin country and individual characteristics while attention to institutional variation at the destination country level remains more limited. Data limitations have resulted in analyses that focus mostly on single destination countries and rarely capture policy change over time. This paper draws on micro-level longitudinal data from population registers in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden from 1997 to 2016 (~670k migrants, ~4M observations). These data allow us to track the naturalization propensity of eight migrant cohorts (1994-2001) up to fifteen years after migration. The longitudinal and comparative design of the study enables an analysis of the influence of changing citizenship policies, covering both major institutional changes within countries over time (introduction of formal language requirements and integration tests in Denmark and the Netherlands; acceptance of dual citizenship in Sweden and Denmark) as well as a comparison of long-term differences between these countries.