A Genealogy of Citizenship: Making New Citizens throughout History

September 10, 2020 @ 2:00 pm – September 12, 2020 @ 4:30 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Valentina Bettin

The project traces how attitudes to creating new citizens have evolved from classical Athens to the present day, and what they can teach us about contemporary challenges.

It analyzes 13 milestones (namely, turning-points, central phases, and key concepts) on the historical development of law and theory of citizenship inclusion: Ancient Citizenship: Classical Athens and the Roman Empire; Medieval citizenship: Urban citizenship and religious affiliation; The Colonial World / Modern Empires; Common Law Citizenship: The Calvin’s Case; American Citizenship: Dred Scott and the 14th Amendment; Citizenship and Nationhood in the French Revolution (and its aftermath); Gender Equality in Citizenship Inclusion; The Internationalization of Citizenship Law (1929 Harvard Project & 1930 Hague Convention on Nationality); Changing Citizenship in Post-Colonial States; & Europeanization of Citizenship Law.

The novelty of the project is found in three aspects. First, while there are numerous historical studies on the notion of changing citizenship in certain states or on specific requirements, there are very few studies on the concept of changing citizenship; most studies are limited in scope (the topics covered), period (a time coverage), and place (a geographical coverage). Second, the historical exploration serves a purpose; it asks to understand the historical roots of contemporary challenges better; today’s challenges may be new, yet the same (or similar) type of questions and dilemmas existed in the past. And third, the historical survey presents substantial conceptual grounds, different methods, and different goals, means and criteria for changing the status of citizenship. It can demonstrate how different societies perceive their citizenship and political community by developing rules, strategies and practices aimed to include new people.

Attendance is by invitation only.


Prof. Liav Orgad (EUI – Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and WZB Berlin Social Science Center)

Federico Tomasello (EUI – Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and University of Venice)

Prof. Dieter Gosewinkel (WZB Berlin Social Science Center)