Explaining the Birthright Citizenship Lottery: Longitudinal and Cross-National Evidence for Key Determinants

Regulation & Governance, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 24 May 2018

See all articles by Omer Solodoch

Omer Solodoch

Tel Aviv University - Department of Political Science

Udi Sommer

Columbia University - Department of Political Science; Tel Aviv University

Date Written: May 14, 2018

Abstract

In the modern nation-state, birthright citizenship laws — jus soli and jus sanguinis — are the two main gateways to sociopolitical membership. The vast majority of the world’s population (97%) obtain their citizenship as a matter of birthright. Yet because comparative research has been focused on measuring and explaining the multiple components of citizenship and immigration policies, a systematic analysis of birthright citizenship is lacking. We bridge this gap by analyzing the birthright component in prominent databases on citizenship policies and complementing them with original data and measures. This allows us to systematically test institutional and electoral explanations for contemporary and over-time variation in birthright citizenship. Institutional explanations — legal codes and colonial history — are consistently associated with limitations on birthright law. As for electoral explanations, not the traditional left-/right-wing divide, but rather specific electoral powers — Nationalist, Socialist and Social-Democratic parties — are linked with reforms in birthright regimes.

Keywords: Citizenship, Birthright citizenship, Immigration policy, jus soli, Birthright lottery, the politics of citizenship

Suggested Citation

Solodoch, Omer and Sommer, Udi, Explaining the Birthright Citizenship Lottery: Longitudinal and Cross-National Evidence for Key Determinants (May 14, 2018). Regulation & Governance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3177964

Omer Solodoch (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Tel Aviv
Israel

Udi Sommer

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv, Israel 62486
Israel
9176226009 (Phone)

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