Citizenship in Germany: From Uniformity to Diversity

By Emmanuel Ndahayo.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: December 13, 2015 $US5.00

The historical development of citizenship has progressed differently in the individual western countries. German citizenship has developed in a society which has changed from being a cultural nation to being a constitutional nation-state with many federal states. Due to realities related to issues like migration and globalisation, German society and its institutions are continuously changing. In the past, the notion of being German was linked to the origin of people (jus sanguinis principle) and not necessarily to state affiliation. Those belonging to the Germanic people went beyond the German national borders and people holding foreign citizenship and having foreign documents could still be considered German just because of their origin, even if they did not have any documents issued by the German state. With the 1999 amendment of the German Citizenship Act, the jus soli principle (birthplace and residence) is becoming more and more relevant in Germany as the society edges towards pluralism. This paper examines, from historical, descriptive and comparative points of view, how the German society has moved from homogeneity to heterogeneity and how concepts of German citizenship are becoming more liberal.

Keywords: Citizenship, Germany, Diversity, Migration, Multiculturalism

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.31-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: December 13, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 467.785KB)).

Emmanuel Ndahayo

Ph.D Student, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Social Sciences, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany