Special issue of Central and Eastern European Migration Review

Citizenship in Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe: Contracting, Expanding and Overlapping

Guest Editor: Costica Dumbrava (Maastricht University)

Over the past quarter of a century, all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have changed or amended their citizenship laws. Some of these changes responded to the need to modernise citizenship laws in line with rediscovered liberal democratic principles. Others were triggered by dramatic developments in the region, such as transformations of statehood, border changes, war and population movements (e.g. internal displacement, refugee flows, ethnic immigration, and economic emigration). The new citizenship laws divided populations that once belonged to the same state, leading to the proliferation of both multiple citizenship and statelessness. While certain groups of residents (immigrants, ethnic minorities) were excluded from citizenship, other people were recognised as citizens despite the fact that they lived outside borders (co-ethnics, emigrants). Commentators in the early 1990s spoke of a rift between citizenship regimes in Western and Eastern Europe, thus reiterating older views about a dichotomy between civic-Western and ethnic-Eastern nations. We now have a growing comparative literature on citizenship that has overcome such simplistic views by revealing a complexity of patterns and trends of citizenship policies in Europe and globally. However, this literature still tends to focus primarily on issues such as immigration and naturalisation, which are more pressing to researchers from and/or working in Western Europe.

This special issue seeks to analyse the development of citizenship regimes in post-communist CEE by both providing insights into specific national and regional issues and reflecting on the existing literature on citizenship from a regional perspective. We invite original contributions from researchers working on citizenship and migration policies that focus on specific cases in the CEE region or take broader comparative perspectives integrating various CEE cases into the wider European and global context. We welcome studies that take different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to address the following broad questions:

  • What trends and patterns can be identified in the development of citizenship policies in post-communist CEE?
  • What are the main lines of convergence and divergence of citizenship regimes in CEE in the past quarter of a century?
  • What were the main drivers of citizenship policies in post-communist CEE?
  • To what extent, and in what way, do the developments in citizenship policies of CEE differ from those in other regions of Europe or the world?

Submission guidelines and related dates

15.12.2015 – submission of abstracts

15.05.2016 – submission of articles

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to Renata Stefańska at

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