Deserving Citizenship

Citizenship Tests in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom


In the past decade, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have formalised or introduced language and knowledge of society tests for immigrants applying for citizenship. The aim of this book is to assess the explicit and hidden goals these citizenship tests are meant to achieve, as well as to analyse their intended and unintended effects. The book answers the questions of why the countries under consideration introduced citizenship tests and what effects these tests have produced. The latter question has been answered on the basis of an analysis of relevant statistics and an analysis of interviews with immigrants and stakeholders. Furthermore, the content of the tests presented to (possible) future citizens of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK has been thoroughly analysed.

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Ricky van Oers holds a PhD from the Radboud University Nijmegen (2013). She is currently working as a researcher at the Centre for Migration Law ( Her publications include A Re-Definition of Belonging? (Nijhoff 2010; co-edited with Eva Ersbøll & Dora Kostakopoulou) and How Can We Categorise and Interpret Civic Integration Policies? (JEMS 2012, 38(1): 163-171; together with Ines Michalowski).
Excerpt of table of contents:
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Justifying Citizenship Tests
Chapter 3 Repairing the Failures of the Past: The Introduction of a Citizenship Test in The Netherlands
Chapter 4 ‘Deutschland sucht den Superstaatsbürger’: Integration Requirements in German Nationality Law
Chapter 5 On a Journey to Citizenship: Earning the Right to Full Membership in the UK
Chapter 6 The Citizenship Tests Compared
Chapter 7 The Quantitative Impact of the Citizenship Tests in The Netherlands, Germany and the UK
Chapter 8 The Effects of Citizenship Testing: The Case of The Netherlands
Chapter 9 Language and Integration Testing in Practice: The Case of Germany
Chapter 10 The ‘Knowledge Requirements’ in Practice: The UK
Chapter 11 Conclusions
Annex I Methodological Justification of Qualitative Research and Overview of Interviewed Immigrants and Stakeholders;
Annex II Questionnaire; Index.
Academics and scholars working on citizenship, nationality law and immigrant integration, as well as NGO’s, lobbyists, practitioners and government officials involved in law and policy making, and case-workers, language teachers and others.