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For over a century it has been the case that a person exists, at least for
legal purposes, only after she has been recognized by the state. As a unique
element of this acknowledgement, nationality has also been an essential
component of individual identity. Now, under pressure from a variety of
directions, the nature of the link between state and individual is changing,
with as yet unclear implications and long-term effects.
In this original and insightful analysis, Enikő Horváth focuses
on three processes of legal evolution in Europe that affect the meaning of
membership and individual identity:
• the increasing salience of supranational ‘culture’ and rights;
• ‘kinship’ legislation privileging non-nationals with linguistic, cultural,
and ethnic ties to a given state; and
• the emergence of plural nationality as an acceptable (and even welcome)
The author’s treatment is notable for its informed appreciation of both the
content of relevant European and national laws and the ways in which these
laws are embedded in particular social and political frameworks. In addition
to extending the legal theory on citizenship and nationality, the analysis
draws on sociology, social psychology, and political theory to anchor its
insights and recommendations. After two in-depth chapters introducing the
complexities of the subject matter, three distinct but interwoven chapters
show how each of the three processes has unfolded in a given context, offer
detailed explanations and suggestions as to why each development has occurred
in the manner that it has, and discuss the legal, political, and sociological
issues raised by the particular development. A comprehensive reference section
with extensive lists of laws, cases, and scholarship concludes the volume.
It is likely that this book will come to be recognized as a foundational work
in the legal analysis of the concept of ‘cultural identity’, and especially
its role in setting norms of membership, as that way of seeing the world
becomes ever more clearly defined in coming decades. It is sure to be not only
studied and cited by academics and legal theorists, but of special value also
to policymakers in the areas of nationality and citizenship.
I. Introduction. II. Basic Concepts. A. Nationality. B
. Citizenship. C. Individual and Collective Identities, as Concept and
as Right. III. European Union Citizenship. A. The Idea of
European Identity. B. The Role of Culture in the European Union. C.
European Citizenship, or the Question of Instrumentality. D. Final
Considerations. IV. Kinship Laws. A. Emergence of a New
Phenomenon. B. The Hungarian Status Law. C. The Evolution of a
Concept. V. Plural Nationality. A. The Traditional Approach and
Recent Legal Evolution. B. Transformation in Germany. C.
Variations on the Theme of Adaptation. D. Tendencies of Development.
Conclusion. References. A. Primary Materials. B. Cases. C.