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Marc Morjé Howard

This article puts the 1999 German Nationality Act into a comparative European perspective. By applying a common measure of the relative restrictiveness or inclusiveness of a country's citizenship policy to the countries of the EU-15 at two different time periods, it provides an analysis of change both within and across countries. From this perspective, Germany has clearly moved "up" from having the single most restrictive law before the 1999 reform to a more moderate policy today. Yet Germany's major "liberalizing change" was also tempered by a significant "restrictive backlash." The German case therefore provides support for a broader theoretical argument about the potential for mobilized anti-immigrant public opinion to nullify the liberalization that often occurs within the realm of elite politics.

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Marc Morjé Howard

Carl F. Lankowski, ed., Breakdown, Breakup, Breakthrough: Germany’s Difficult Passage to Modernity (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999)

John Brady, Beverly Crawford, and Sarah Elise Wiliarty, eds., The Postwar Transformation of Germany: Democracy, Prosperity, and Nationhood (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999)

Christopher S. Allen, ed., Transformation of the German Political Party System: Institutional Crisis or Democratic Renewal? (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999)