Citizenship, integration and the quest for social cohesion: nationality reform in the Scandinavian countries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionComparative Migration Studies. 2015, 3 (3), . 10.1007/s40878-015-0002-y
After having coordinated their nationality laws since the late 19th century, the Scandinavian countries have moved in distinctly different directions in this field since the turn of the millennium. Today Sweden has one of the most liberal citizenship policies in Europe, while Denmark has one of the most restrictive. Norway occupies an intermediate position between its Scandinavian neighbours. In this article, I compare the differences in Scandinavian nationality law and the political processes that led to these changes. The highly divergent development of nationality law in the Scandinavian region questions the widespread idea that a general convergence towards liberalization of European nationality law is taking place. Although static concepts of nationhood cannot account for the recent changes in Scandinavian nationality law, ideas about national identity and social cohesion are still highly influential in determining the content of nationality law.