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How did facilitated access to citizenship, initiated by the 1999 reform of the Citizenship Act, affect political integration of citizens with migratory background in Germany?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

How did facilitated access to citizenship, initiated by the 1999 reform of the Citizenship Act, affect political integration of citizens with migratory background in Germany?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Since the 1960s, the structure of the German population has significantly changed as a result of a number of migration waves. This structural change, and the fact that is was rather ignored by German governments, created a democratic deficit. Large parts of the permanent population were structurally excluded from political participation and denied citizenship on the basis of the outdated German Citizenship Act from 1913. This exclusion constituted a significant obstacle to immigrant integration in general. Only after the national elections in 1998, the newly formed government coalition officially accepted the fact that Germany was an immigration nation and initiated a paradigm change in the area of migration and integration policy. One of their first major policy initiatives that have been enacted was the contested reform of the Citizenship Act in 1999.
This research aims to evaluate how the reform improved the political integration of migrants in Germany until 2013. For this purpose the policy input, output and outcome were analysed on the basis of selected indicators - namely the number of naturalisations, the realised naturalisation potential, the electoral turnout rate and the number of MPs with a migratory background – in the context of the objectives of the reform. The reviewed literature highlights a high importance of the indicators for the integration of migrants. Further, the hypothesis drawn suggests that if an increase and positive development of the indicators can be identified, the legal-political integration of migrants improved.
It is to be noted, that there were strong limitations regarding the availability of empirical data on the topic and that no causal and definite conclusion could be drawn. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that the reform did improve the political integration of migrants in Germany. Firstly, the significant removal of structural legal barriers introduced by the reform led to an increase in naturalisations and a larger share of citizens with a migratory background. Secondly, the electoral turnout of migrants seems to have risen, especially in the second generation, and the number of MPs with a migratory background increased significantly. The results of the analysis seem to indicate a sustainable development and highlight a very relevant and interesting subject area for further and more in depth research by academia and policy makers.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2016
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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