Many analysts study the interests of "states" and their objections to dual citizenship.
However, the necessary legal regimes, which recognise or reject the simultaneous possession of multiple citizenships, are not created by "the state" in a "black box mechanism". Rather, there is a multi-layered policy process in which the interplay of different actors and coalitions with a wide variety of values and interests leads to the adoption or non-adoption of a law. In addition, it is tempting in political and social discourse to allow one's personal political convictions to colour the interpretation of data and views and present them less objectively.
Many of the points against dual citizenship discussed above seem less than convincing. The following three hypotheses aim to show why the heart of the discussion is mostly veiled, as are the assumptions on which the discussion is based, and the content of the discussion.
A limited field of discourse
The first hypothesis proposes that the field of discourse on dual citizenship – as on other discussions concerning migration policy – is limited in so far as certain arguments are regarded as essentially illegitimate in the first place and, therefore, outside the permissible frame of discussion.
A prototypical foreigner as the basis for the negative attitude towards dual citizenship
According to the second hypothesis, a certain negative image of the "the foreigner" dominates critics' perception, whereby negative attitudes towards immigrants are mixed up with views of dual citizenship. Here, in particular, the objectively and subjectively perceived composition of migrant flows plays a role.
A certain perception of details from official statistics concerning the origin of migrants, their educational and professional achievements as well as their religious affiliation and unemployment levels
Many objections formulated in a linguistically abstract manner, such as criticism levelled at the incompatibility of differing loyalties and the way this limits integration, are often not meant to be either abstract or general. Rather, they are based on an image of a specifically identifiable person, the supposedly standard type of foreigner. In other words, it is not that critics doubt that people can generally have genuine links to two states. Rather, what they have in mind when they raise this objection is the picture of a group of persons with certain negatively perceived socio-cultural characteristics, who would not be able to do so. Due to limitations in the discourse, as indicated above, this matter is therefore only referred to in vague and general terms.
Exclusion as the main reason for refusing dual citizenship
For practical reasons or reasons of identity, the obligation to renounce their former citizenship may deter immigrants from applying for naturalisation in spite of their already being integrated into Germany.
The third hypothesis states that for many critics it is not a matter of preventing dual citizenship as such, but of making naturalisation more difficult.
|Details of naturalisations for different groups of immigrants|
|Former citizenship||Number of natural-|
|Proportion of the total natural-|
|Average quota of natural-|
isations with dual citizen-
|Average age at natural-|
|Average duration of residence at natural-|
|Annual Average 2003-2007||Annual Average 2005-2007|
|EU-Member States ||12.334||9,7||0,6||86,2||36,2||18,4|
|Former Soviet Union||13.357||11,1||2,7||56,5||35,8||9,2|
|Source: Naturalisations Statistics, Central Register of Foreigners, Federal Statistical Office|