Punctuated equilibrium theory

Authored by: Daniela Beyer , Christian Breunig , Marco Radojevic

The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138927339
eBook ISBN: 9781315682723
Adobe ISBN:


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On May 7, 1999, the German Bundestag passed the German Citizenship Act (Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz, StAG), marking a tremendous change in German citizenship policy. The law enables children born and raised in Germany to become German citizens regardless of their parents’ descent, reduces residency requirement for naturalization to eight years, and encourages naturalization of long-settled migrants, in particular Gastarbeiter and their descendants (Triadafilopoulos, 2012). The key provision of the new citizenship act introduced radical changes to Germany’s citizenship policy and turned a traditionally ethnic conception of nationhood into a more civic identity. It replaced the Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (RuStAG) of 1913 which remained in place for nearly 87 years and survived the democratic Weimar Republic, the totalitarian Third Reich, as well as the after-war Bonn Republic.

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