Double Standards? Electoral Acceptance of Immigrant and Emigrant Dual Citizenship in the Netherlands

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - G466 (University of Glasgow)
Maarten Peter Vink , Political Science, Maastricht University
Hans Schmeets , Statistics Netherlands
Hester Mennes , University of Amsterdam
International migration, gender equality and increasingly tolerant citizenship policies have led to a growing number of persons who hold the citizenship of more than one state. Yet in many European countries, dual citizenship acceptance is still considerably contested. In this paper, we investigate attitudes towards dual citizenship in the Netherlands, a country that has at best reluctantly accepted dual citizenship and continues to practice a restrictive policy even though over 1.2 million residents are estimated to hold more than one citizenship. In particular, we investigate the surprising discrepancy in electoral attitudes towards dual citizenship of immigrants who acquire Dutch citizenship and of Dutch citizens acquiring a foreign citizenship. Drawing on social identity theory, we argue that negative attitudes towards dual citizenship are generally related to perceived cultural threat. Further, we hypothesize that ethnic citizenship conceptions and national identification drive a ‘double standard’, i.e. accepting dual citizenship for the in-group (emigrants), but not for the out-group (immigrants). We test this hypothesis on the basis of data from the 2012 Dutch Parliamentary Election Study (N = 1650) and relate our findings to expressed choice of political party.
  • Vink Schmeets Mennes_manuscript22062017.pdf (307.4 kB)