Northern Exposure: The New Danish Model of Citizenship Test

Silvia Adamo

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The paper begins with a discussion of the general context of
naturalisation in Denmark from a politico-legal angle, and sets the frame for the current debate on the introduction of the citizenship test. The second section analyses the content of the citizenship test and the arguments that have accompanied its adoption. The third section offers a more theoretical approach to the use of citizenship tests, evaluating the arguments in favour and against this practice in citizenship regulation. In this analysis, comparisons are drawn with the Canadian citizenship test and policy, and reference made to the theoretical model of multiculturalism developed by Will Kymlicka. The conclusion is provisional and takes into consideration the fact that the citizenship test is a relatively new introduction in Denmark, which makes its impact difficult to measure in empirical terms. There is, however, some evidence to suggest that the test was introduced in Denmark as another rung on the ladder to achieving citizenship, adding to the other rather onerous requirements already in place (long residence, advanced language skills and renunciation of former citizenship). For many applicants it thus may play a gatekeeping role.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Adamo, Silvia. Northern Exposure: The New Danish Model of Citizenship Test. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2008, vol.10, no.1, pp. 10-28, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.
www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol10/issue1/art1

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