- Governing immigrants and citizenship regimes: the case of France, 1950s-1990s
- Citizenship Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 3-4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Does sustained and increasingly transnational immigration weaken the national character of citizenship regimes? This paper addresses this issue by examining French responses to immigration over a 40-year period. In spite of the changing character of immigration and changing state strategies, all governments throughout this period have sought to maintain the national character by making full access to rights contingent on one's conformity to national values and moralities. As the government made accessing rights dependent on conformity to national norms, the legitimacy of immigrant activists seeking to expand their rights has depended on their abilities to conform to the rules of the national political game. Resisting marginalization therefore requires the assimilation of the immigrants into nationally specific political cultures, which contributes to reinforcing the national character of citizenship regimes. By examining the particular case of France, the paper aims to show how top-down and bottom-up processes by states and activists work in different ways to keep the nation at the center of citizenship regimes in spite of the ongoing and very real challenges presented by transnationalism and globalization.
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