This article illustrates the difference between formal citizenship and moral citizenship, and traces the shift in focus from formal to moral citizenship in Dutch national and local policy. The mixing of 'citizenship' with 'integration' has given rise to what can be termed a virtualization of citizenship. When 'integration' becomes 'citizenship', the citizenship status of those persons that are formal citizens but supposedly lack 'integration' both shifts from an actual to a virtual possession, and also becomes defined as a 'virtue'. The moralization of citizenship is largely state-initiated and is accompanied by a neoliberal focus on 'individual responsibility'. Thus the state, whose position is endangered in times of globalization, finds a new functional potential in securing the in- and exclusion of 'society' through the pronunciation of moral citizenship in paternalist policies.

Citizenship, Immigration policies, Integration, Naturalization policy, State,
Critical Sociology
Department of Sociology

Schinkel, W. (2010). The virtualization of citizenship. Critical Sociology, 36(2), 265–283. doi:10.1177/0896920509357506