Citizenship Solidarity and Rights Individualism: On the Decline of National Citizenship in the U.S., Germany, and Israel

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hisis paper analyzes changes in the nature of citizenship in the United States, Germany, and Israel over the past three decades. Abraham argues that the gap between "citizen" and "resident alien" has been shrinking. Overall, there has been a decline in the content of citizenship and easier access to it. Despite some recent hostility toward aliens in many countries, the tendency over the longer term has been to grant aliens greater rights. In part, this is because courts have come to focus on equal protection rights for individuals. However, the development also points to a reduction in solidarity within these societies because of neo-liberalism and the weakening of citizenship as a political and socio-economic category. The decline of the Keynesian welfare state, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the rise of international human rights discourses have also played a role. The result in Germany and the United States has been increased recognition of immigrant rights and non-discrimination toward immigrant residents, but at the expense of redistribution. The presentation also examines whether neo-liberal developments in Israeli law and society might have a similar impact.

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The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies UC San Diego

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