The Worth of Citizenship : Experiences of Citizenship Acquisition among Russian Speakers in Latvia and Lithuania
|Other Titles:||Der Wert von Staatsangehörigkeit : Erfahrungen des Erwerbs der Staatsangehörigkeit russischsprachiger Einwohner Lettlands und Litauens||Authors:||Samoilova, Evgenia||Supervisor:||Mau, Steffen||1. Expert:||Weymann, Ansgar||2. Expert:||Schreier, Margrit||Abstract:||
Concerns about existing cultural differences have resulted in a quick spread of new policies introducing a number of restrictive elements into citizenship acquisition. These policies, also known as "civic" integration tests, were adopted both in the EU as well as in other parts of the world. Although these tests were adopted because some countries viewed them as "good practices" to facilitate integration, empirical evidence on how these policies function is scarce. The citizenship policies in Latvia and Lithuania are close to two ideal types contrasting opposite manifestations of the same process. While in Latvia Soviet-era immigrants were exposed to naturalization attached to the language, history, and constitution knowledge tests as well as proof of a legal source of income, their counterparts in Lithuania could receive the state nationality by simply applying for it based on the residency criteria. The selected cases allow to draw an interesting comparison, which is no longer possible in other EU countries due to a convergence of citizenship policies. Therefore, the main focus of this contribution is to examine the experiences of citizenship acquisition among the Russian-speakers, given a particular set of naturalization requirements in Latvia and a lack thereof in Lithuania. Using a mixed methods framework, the project stresses the importance of understanding the mechanisms of the respective citizenship regulations. The results demonstrate three possible links between the decision to acquire citizenship and integration. First, the selection mechanisms of the more restrictive citizenship policies in Latvia favor individuals with higher socio-economic status. The second link applies only to these individuals. For them, the decision not to acquire citizenship can be related to the subjective perception of insufficient integration. Last but not least, open citizenship policies were indeed perceived by the Russian-speakers in Lithuania as a sign of acceptance. As this project does not aim at generalizing to other populations and the results pertain only to the Russian-speakers in the two Baltic states, it is important to corroborate the findings in other countries and with other ethnic groups.
|Keywords:||citizenship acquisition, integration, mixed methods, Baltic State||Issue Date:||17-Dec-2015||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00105763-13||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB8 Sozialwissenschaften|
|Appears in Collections:||Dissertationen|
checked on Sep 24, 2020
checked on Sep 24, 2020
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