Intergenerational analysis of ancestral citizenship in Europe (2024-2027)

Unmaking the Past, Making the Future: an intergenerational analysis of ancestral citizenship and visions of Europe (2024-2027)

Research team
Melissa Blanchard, anthropology (Centre Norbert Elias/CNRS), PI
Zeynep Kasli, political sociology, Institute for Social Sciences, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, PI
Jannes Jacobsen, sociology, DeZim institute, Berlin, PI
Zeynep Yanasmayan, political sciences, DeZim Institut, Berlin, PI
Four post-doctoral researchers (recruitment in progress)

Centre Norbert Elias (CNRS/AU/AMU), Marseille
Migration Department and Data-Methods-Monitoring Cluster, DeZIM Institut, Berlin
International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam

Volkswagen Foundation

The project focuses on the intergenerational analysis of citizenship acquisitions specifically based on claims of co-ethnicity and bloodline (ancestral citizenship). Ancestral citizenship provisions have been introduced in different European countries with the intention of unmaking the national past, trying to remedy historical mistakes, responding to shifting territorial borders or to the massive emigration that occurred due to economic hardship. Yet, they simultaneously make the future of Europe, as they are based on competing visions of Europe and constitute a legal pathway for migration.
Through a mixed methods and multi-level research design, this project analyses: 1) why citizenship laws based on bloodline emerged and how they have changed over time, in particular with respect to European integration and 2) the shifting motivations for acquiring an ancestral citizenship and the competing visions of Europe of kin citizens over time.
This historically informed study will unearth the broader ramifications of this seemingly particularistic pathway on the notion of citizenship and on legal mobility across the EU.
The project concentrates on the case-studies of Bulgaria, Italy and Germany.