Citizenship with a Price Tag?

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JMU keynote lecture8th JMU-MWP Conference Keynote Lecture

by  Jelena Džankić

11April 2014, 17.15-18.15, MWP Common Room

The spread of the global economic crisis enticed many countries to consider attracting investors to become their citizens. The mushrooming of investor programs, which permit rich individuals to gain residence in the underlying countries and eventually access their citizenship, has become a mechanism of securing an infusion of capital into the struggling economies. The lecture will first look at the relationship between the notion of citizenship and the different types of preferential naturalization of investors: naturalization through residence, discretionary naturalization, and detailed investor citizenship programs. In order to examine whether the economic utility of the investment to the state can suffice to override some or all other criteria for naturalization, we will explore legal and normative dimensions of the notion of “genuine ties” questioning whether preferential treatment of investors can be justified in the context of merit-based naturalization. In the second part of the lecture, the focus will be on classifying investment-based citizenship and residence programs in all the 28 European Union (EU) Member States, and on discussing the implications of investor citizenship and residence programs on the notion of EU citizenship. Starting from a brief theoretical examination of membership in national and supranational polities, we will then compare how different countries regulate access to membership on grounds of wealth.

The keynote lecturer

Jelena Džankić is a Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI). From 2011 to 2013, she did post-doctoral research at the EUI as a Jean Monnet fellow. She is also the expert on Montenegrin citizenship at the EUI’s European Union  Democracy  Observatory  (EUDO)  on  Citizenship,  and  has  an  interest  in investor citizenship programs. Jelena holds a PhD in international studies from the University of Cambridge (New Hall College). Before coming to the EUI, Jelena was part of the CITSEE team at the University of Edinburgh and a Teaching Fellow in Comparative Politics at University College London (UCL).