A Journey to Citizenship in the United Kingdom

Dina Kiwan

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This paper examines the naturalisation requirements for British citizenship that were introduced in November 2005. I examine these new requirements – including the introduction of “citizenship” tests, in the context of my direct involvement in recent UK policy developments in the domains of nationality, immigration and education. I make three interrelated arguments. First, that the citizenship policy developments on nationality cannot be fully understood without reference to earlier and continuing developments in citizenship education policy. Second, that the introduction of citizenship tests illustrates a “restrictive” turn in which nationality laws are increasingly encroaching on liberal norms in Western European countries. And finally, that “national” citizenship tests in a supposedly “post-national” world are obsolete.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Kiwan, Dina. A Journey to Citizenship in the United Kingdom. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2008, vol.10, no.1, pp. 60-75, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.


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