How and why public attitudes to dual citizenship vary: observational and experimental evidence from Europe

Maarten Vink, Universiteit Maastricht / Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence

Datum: 11. März 2024, 13:15
Veranstaltungsort: Universität Wien, Hörsaal 10, Rathausstraße 19, 1090 Wien oder online

Dual citizenship for naturalizing migrants is increasingly accepted in public policy across Europe, yet remains controversial in various contexts and public opinion. Remarkably, how restrictive attitudes to dual citizenship vary cross-nationally and what drives these differences remain under-investigated. In this paper we draw on original observational and experimental survey data from 17 European countries, collected in 2022 and 2023. Based on a first-ever cross-national survey measuring support for dual citizenship, we find strong variation with higher support in all countries for restricting dual citizenship for naturalizing immigrants, compared to doing so for citizens who naturalize abroad. Support for dual citizenship is associated with concerns about immigration levels and polarized views on immigrants favoring in-groups over out-groups; these patterns are stronger vis-a-vis naturalizing immigrants, compared to citizens who naturalize abroad. To investigate the extent to which restrictive dual citizenship attitudes are driven by selective out-group prejudice we leverage results from a pre-registered follow-up experimental vignette study which manipulates the cultural distance of the immigrant’s origin or destination of the emigrant. We find that restrictive attitudes are associated with prejudice towards culturally more distant migration contexts, especially towards naturalizing immigrants and among those with higher levels of hierarchical out-group prejudice.

This guest lecture is jointly organised by the Department of Government, University of Vienna, and the Commission for Migration and Integration Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.