Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Europäische Ethnologie | Forschung | Abgeschlossene Forschungsprojekte | TransforNation: Dual Citizenship Recognition and Equal Rights in Germany

Forschungsprojekt „TransforNation“

Dual Citizenship Recognition and Equal Rights in Germany: Construction of a (Trans)national Form of Citizenship in 21st Century Europe
Projektbeginn: Oktober 2014
Förderinstitution: Seventh Framework Programm der Europäischen Union


Migration, E-U integration and equalisation of rights between men and women as to maintaining and passing nationality have led to the increase of dual citizenship, which has become a main political issue in many European countries and a key topic to understand the transformation of civil societies.

Built on political anthropology of the State, this project focuses on present-day Germany to see how issues about the recognition of this status can be understood within the reconfiguration of EU-immigration policies. Through an ethnographic approach, it studies both dual citizenship politics and experiences to build a multi-dimensional model of nation and immigration issues in the European context. First, it examines the moments of problematisation of a dual citizenship issue in Germany, between 1989 and the most recent controversy concerning its full recognition in spring 2013. Historical and political transformation of society and the democratic configuration of German politics will be used to enlighten these moments of problematisation. Secondly, it analyses the discursive strategies and collective actions that aim at the full recognition of dual citizenship. Thirdly, it studies the legal and administrative practices that frame the way in which German State tolerates dual citizenship. Fourthly, it explores, through personal narratives, the everyday experience of German dual citizens with different backgrounds to show how gender, race and social class guide the uses of dual citizenship. With a comparative approach to differentiated migration experiences, this project explores how dual citizen’s status may weave into patterns of everyday life.

This project also offers a challenge to anthropology. Indeed, the timeline engages analyses with the responsibility of naming and defining the issues about dual citizenship in Germany in the light of today’s controversies and dynamics of power. This occurs not only after political initiatives have been activated, but through accompanying them and even in some ways contributing to them. As such, my research explores the relationships between anthropology as a project of understanding and politics.

Thus, both in its empirical dimension as in its theoretical dimension, the project, TransforNation, fills a real void since there are no comprehensive scientific and methodical studies that propose an approach to dual citizenship at the intersection between political anthropology of the State and ethnography of everyday life and subjectivities.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme  for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement n° 622400.