Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)

Ashley Mantha-Hollands

Ashley Mantha-Hollands

BGSS Generation 2019



From International to Domestic Law – How the Principle of Attachment Organizes Membership





At the centre of debates surrounding migration across Europe and North America is a concern about immigrants’ allegiance and attachment. Under contemporary law and theory, formal recognition of membership for new citizens requires a bond of some kind. Over the last century, there has been a growing appeal to use “attachment” as a condition for naturalization and even, denaturalization. Part I of this project is theoretical and offers an approach to defining the principles of attachment through a typology for: i) the nature of the bond (behavioral, emotional, or physical); ii) the object of attachment (constitution, persons, culture, etc.); iii) the time of attachment; and, iv) the method of approval. Part II of the project is descriptive - it takes a global snapshot of naturalization law in 35 countries to reveal how the attachment paradigm has organized membership within these states. Finally, Part III is normative and looks at whether the concept of attachment is a necessary criterion in citizenship acquisition or withdrawal. The focus of this article is to explore the attachment principle, and how it guides citizenship policy – a topic which has become one of the most complex issues in citizenship theory and political philosophy.


Recent Publications



Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB)