Blood Versus Land: The Comparative Foundations for Citizenship and Voting Rights in Germany and Sweden
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The current process of immigration and integration of foreign-born residents into European society could potentially cause significant shifts in the demographics, politics, and national identities of many European nations. The influence of immigration has stretched beyond the guest worker programs of the postwar era into long-term residence by foreign-born workers and peoples, accelerating after the end of the Cold War. Globalization further enables immigration, and these people have developed greater stakes in the economies and cultures they live within. The incorporation of these immigrants into the democratic process, specifically through their access to the ballot box, portends several important effects on European politics. The first and most obvious is through the expression of different political preferences by these immigrants and the degree to which they are assimilated, integrated, or incorporated into the political process. This thesis will examine how two major immigrant destination states within the European Union extend voting rights to immigrants from outside the EU. These will be Germany and Sweden. The thesis concludes that the historical path to democratic franchise, and migration controls establish legal precedents that shape the path to inclusion for each of these countries despite their contrasting outcomes.
- Sociology and Law