Citizenship Tests in Europe – Editorial Introduction

Sue Wright

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This issue of UNESCO’s International Journal on Multicultural Societies (IJMS) is dedicated to the subject of citizenship tests. Formal assessments now form part of the application process for naturalisation in many parts of the world, and the practice is growing. At the time of writing, in late 2007, countries that had introduced formal citizenship testing included the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Australia, and a number of other states (e.g. France) were discussing the possibility of doing so. Tests are thus a matter of current interest, are in a period of development and clearly need some examination and discussion. This issue is intended to contribute to the debate by giving detailed information about the current situation in four Western European states (Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the UK); indicating some of the problems provoked by the tests, as well as some of the advantages they confer; and seeking to understand some of the motivations for their introduction.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Wright, Sue. Citizenship Tests in Europe – Editorial Introduction. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2008, vol.10, no.1, pp. 1-9, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.

About the Guest-Editor:

Sue Wright is Professor of Language and Politics at the University of Portsmouth (UK). She is the author of several books on the relationship of language and political organisation. Her book, Language Policy and Language Planning (Palgrave Macmillan 2004), considered some of the developments in language status and language use that have accompanied the political changes of the recent past. She is also series editor (with Helen Kelly-Holmes) for Palgrave’s Language and Globalisation series. E-mail: sue.wright(at)

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