Walls and passports – configuring immigration policy and citizenship policy

Samuel D. Schmid


Do inclusive societies need closed borders? Political theorists have pondered this puzzle for decades. The conventional view holds that, in liberal democracies, immigration restrictions are legitimate, and some argue that they are necessary for inclusive citizenship. Some empirical analyses corroborate this claim. There appear to be certain trade-offs between the openness of borders and the inclusiveness of immigrant rights. Reformulating the underlying empirical puzzle in a general way leads to the following research question: How are immigration regime openness and citizenship regime inclusiveness associated, and what explains variations in this association across space and time? This question remains underexplored. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, Sam’s doctoral project attempts to fill this gap. The resulting insights will not only advance our understanding of immigration-related policy-making, but also inform a long-standing normative discourse from an empirical perspective.

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