Civic Integration: How Does Identity Come into it? A Republican Perspective
22 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 4 Oct 2009
Date Written: 2009
Many arguments for regulating immigration and for imposing more stringent conditions for awarding citizenship through naturalization rest on putative links between political commitment, trust, cultural integration, and a sense of shared identity. Assumptions about such links seem to underlie the introduction of cultural tests not only for acquiring citizenship in, but also for immigration to, an increasing number of European countries. But whether there is any necessary connection between cultural commonality and identity, or between a sense of identity and motivation to civic solidarity is open to question. While citizens may share an identity, it is not clear that such an identity derives from cultural commonality, or that an explicit sense of shared identity is necessary or sufficient to elicit civic solidarity in practice. Considering arguments from recent debates on civic and constitutional patriotism and liberal nationality, this paper articulates a republican account of the way in which identity may be a dimension of citizenship, with implications for the kinds of civic integration requirement that could be both appropriate and legitimate.
Keywords: immigration, civic integration, identity, republicanism, solidarity
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