Costly Citizenship? Dual Nationality Institutions, Naturalization, and Political Connectedness

31 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2007

See all articles by Jeffrey K. Staton

Jeffrey K. Staton

Emory University - Department of Political Science; University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Robert Jackson

Florida State University - Department of Political Science

Damarys Canache

Florida State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 19, 2007

Abstract

Theorists of dual nationality in both law and the social sciences disagree intensely over whether an individual's nationality status affects his or her connection to the American political system. Recent empirical analyses find that naturalized citizens that possess dual nationality status are less connected to the American political system than naturalized citizens that do not possess dual nationality status. Among Latinos at least, dual nationals are less likely than single nationals to identify as Americans, speak English fluently, view the United States as their true home, and register to vote and vote. In this study, we ask whether the dual nationality rules of sender states encourage naturalization in the United States, either directly or conditionally. We also ask whether the disconnecting effects of dual nationality attenuate across generations. Using data from The Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation 2002 National Survey of Latinos, we find little evidence that dual nationality encourages naturalization, either directly or conditionally; however, we do find evidence that generation attenuates the disconnecting effects of dual nationality. This research suggests that while dual nationality likely disconnects immigrants from the American political system, the effect is largely restricted to the first generation.

Keywords: dual nationality, dual citizenship, political behavior

Suggested Citation

Staton, Jeffrey K. and Jackson, Robert and Canache, Damarys, Costly Citizenship? Dual Nationality Institutions, Naturalization, and Political Connectedness (June 19, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.995569

Jeffrey K. Staton (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6559 (Phone)
404-727-4586 (Fax)

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

United States

Robert Jackson

Florida State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Talahasse, FL 30306
United States

Damarys Canache

Florida State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Talahasse, FL 30306
United States

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