Neoliberal communitarian citizenship: Current trends towards 'earned citizenship' in the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands
As Western European nation-states adapt to the challenges posed to the nation-state by globalization and immigration, adjusting citizenship criteria for immigrants has been one of the responses to these developments. This article compares the current changes in citizenship policies of three Western European states: the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands. The main concern of the article is to shed light on the emerging development of a form of neoliberal communitarian citizenship that involves an increased emphasis on the need to earn one's citizenship. While many have signalled a shift towards neoliberal citizenship, this study assesses to what extent such a shift is characterized by a contractual view that sees citizenship no longer primarily as a prima facie right but as a prized possession that is to be earned and can be lost if not properly cultivated. At the same time, the study analyses the content of citizenship criteria to see how the nation-state in these three countries is sacralized by an emphasis on the national community. These two trends of earned citizenship are conceptualized in the study as neoliberal communitarianism.