Study title
Dual Citizens: Hazard or Vanguard of Citizenship at Home and Abroad
Ref study 10924
Study language English
Contributing institutions
  • Identification
  • Political participation
  • Transnationalism
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Emigrants
  • External citizenship
  • Dual citizenship
Geographical space
  • Switzerland
This project is a prolongation of our research project on political attitudes and behaviour of dual citizens in Switzerland („Dual Citizens: Hazard or Vanguard of Citizenship in the (Post-)Westphalian Order?“, SNF project number: 137693, November 2011 to February 2015). The prolongation complements the previous focus on immigrants in Switzerland with a similar study on Swiss emigrants. The project tackles a phenomenon of growing salience, as we are witnessing a dramatic rise of dual citizenship (DC) across the globe. Whereas more and more countries accept DC, in some countries it spurs strong political controversies. The topic is especially important for Switzerland, since more than 10% of Swiss living in Switzerland, and three quarters of Swiss living abroad, are dual citizens.

In popular discourses DC is mostly seen as a threat to national cohesion and democracy. In contrast, many intellectuals and scholars conceive of dual citizens as vanguards of citizenship practices above and across nation states, and as an important source for democratizing a globalizing world order. However, the debates on national integration and the discourses on cosmopolitan/ transnational democracy are not only taking place in different discursive fields, the two aspects are also not well connected in empirical research. The research project fills this void by tracing the political involvement of dual citizens in and outside of Switzerland, as well as their transnational and cosmopolitan citizenship practices. Our analysis focuses on the question whether the formal membership of citizens in more than one political community (their citizenship status) influences their political involvement (their citizenship identities and practices) within and beyond their country of residence.

To reach this goal we conducted during the prolongation period a survey among the Swiss abroad (with and without dual citizenship), in order to supplement the findings from the first part of the project about various groups of immigrants (and their descendants) in Switzerland. Applying the same questionnaire, we are not only able to collect further data in an efficient way, but also to compare political attitudes and practices of immigrants and emigrants. After analysing the effects of dual nationality for the domestic and supra- and transnational arenas separately in previous publications during the first part of the project, we turn to the question whether political identities and citizenship practices within these multiple arenas are a zero-sum game or whether they are mutually compatible, possibly even reinforcing. Overall, we present and further disseminate additional empirical insights and normative principles that will help scholars and practitioners alike to understand and deal with the challenges and opportunities associated with the spread of dual citizenship.
Methods (description)
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Blatter, Joachim; Schmid, Samuel D.; Blättler, Andrea. 2017. Vom Demokratiedefizit europäischer Nationalstaaten: Elektorale Exklusivität im Vergleich. In: Andreas Glaser (Hrsg.): Politische Rechte für Ausländerinnen und Ausländer? Dokumentation der 8. Aarauer Demokratietage. Zürich et al.: Schulthess-Verlag.
  • Blatter, Joachim; Schmid, Samuel D.; Blättler, Andrea. 2016. Democratic Deficits in Europe: The Overlooked Exclusiveness of Nation-States and the Positive Role of the European Union. Journal of Common Market Studies, forthcoming.
  • Blatter, Joachim; Hauser, Clemens; Wyrsch, Sonja. 2016. Kein Stimmrecht - trotzdem mitstimmen. In: Abbt, Christine & Rochel, Johan (eds.). Migrationsland Schweiz. 15 Vorschläge für die Zukunft. Baden: Hier und Jetzt, Verlag für Kultur und Geschichte.
  • Blatter, Joachim; Schmid, Samuel D.; Blättler, Andrea. 2015. The Immigrant Inclusion Index (IMIX): A Tool for Assessing the Electoral Inclusiveness of Democracies with Respect to Immigrants. Working Paper Series ‘Glocal Governance and Democracy’, No. 08, Second, Revised Version, University of Lucerne. Online: 10.5281/zenodo.48774
  • Blatter, Joachim; Blättler, Andrea; Schmid, Samuel D.. 2015. What Happens/ed to Inclusion? A Plea and Three Proposals for Closing the Gap Between Democratic Theory and Empirical Measurement of Democracies. Working Paper #64, IPSA Committee on Concepts and Methods Working Papers Series - Political Concepts, April. Online:
Unpublished documents
  • Schlenker, Andrea; Blatter, Joachim; Birka, Ieva. Practicing Transnational Citizenship: Dual Nationality and Simultaneous Political Involvement among Emigrants. Currently under review.
  • Blatter, Joachim; Schlenker, Andrea. How Transnationalism feeds Cosmopolitanism. Work in progress.
Financed by
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Email
Date created 13.12.2016
Date modified 01.03.2018
Start - End date 01.03.2015 - 29.02.2016