Transnationalism and Citizenship

Course Description: 

Recent years have seen an explosion of empirical and normative scholarly interest in transnationalism and citizenship across many disciplines. The primary aim of this course is to provide an overview of the main topical issues and scholarly perspectives related to citizenship and transnational membership. The course will examine how the different normative theories of citizenship address the challenges raised by supranational integration, migration, state succession and external minority protection. In addition to the normative inquiry, we will examine the current trends in citizenship legislation with a special focus on transnational (i.e. extraterritorial) citizenship. The course will also discuss transnational citizenship from below and look into the instrumental as well as affective implications of citizenship. We will approach contemporary citizenship debates focusing on the different citizenship constellations in Europe and Latin America. The course will offer a normative overview and comparative institutional analysis of citizenship regimes with a special emphasis on naturalization policies and quasi-citizenship practices.


After a general introductory session on the emergence of citizenship rights, we will overview the main normative citizenship regime types, contemporary debates on the future of bounded citizenship, and discuss theories related to transnational citizenship. We will then turn to the methodological dilemmas related to the study of nationalism and will investigate how normative theories can be tested by institutional analysis. After the methodological introduction and the overview of the EUDO Citizenship database, we will explore the meaning of supranational citizenship in the EU and Latin America. The following classes will focus on the overview of naturalization policies in the EU. We will analyze current citizenship trends and practices in the European Union with a special emphasis on ethnic selectivity policies in the old and the new EU member states. We will also explore citizenship constellations at state succession. A special session will be reserved for the in-depth study of citizenship legislation in the Post-Soviet and the Post-Yugoslav regions. In the last classes, we will look into contemporary debates and investigate the normative and institutional dilemmas of denizenship, citizenship tests, talent and investment based citizenship frameworks and denationalization practices.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

a, undertake normative and institutional research in citizenship studies

b, apply theoretical frameworks in the comparative study of citizenship regimes

c, analyze citizenship policy in light of current scholarship

d, critically discuss competing theories in citizenship studies

e, comparatively analyze citizenship constellations



Students registered for this course are expected to attend classes and participate in the  discussions. All students must read all the readings, and give two presentations. In-class presentations should connect the argument to other relevant readings, and explain how the assignment’s argument contrasts with, contradicts, confirms, clarifies, or elaborates the analyzed institutional practices. Depending on the topic, students will be encouraged to offer single case studies, cross-country comparative studies, or focus on the specificities of a certain region. It is highly recommended that students choose a presentation that will also serve as a topic for the final paper.


Seminar paper requirements


Students are to prepare a final paper (minimum 2,500 words plus bibliography) on a subject connected to the topics discussed in the course. Both normative discussions of citizenship theories, empirical/institutional analysis of individual citizenship regimes, and comparative analysis of citizenship legislation are welcome. Papers should include the critical and comparative analysis of class readings on the topic and include ideas on the applicability of the readings. Papers submitted after the deadline will be marked down by half of a letter grade per day. Final grades will be calculated on the basis of the above; also, class attendance, preparation and participation will be factored into the final grade.


Seminar papers are evaluated according to a number of criteria including the

a, scholarly relevance of the research;

b, the relevance and adequacy of the research methodology;

c, critical use of a wide range of literature and theories;

d, originality of the argument;

e, consistency and coherence of the argument;

f, form and language of the presentation.