East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

Oct 22 Workshop


East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

Mono to Dual Nationality: Restructuring the Legal Boundaries of Citizenship in Japan and Korea

Naeyun Lee

Ph.D Candidate, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago


4:30-6pm, Tuesday

Oct 22, 2013

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.



Many scholars have noted the growing incongruence between the actual resident population and the national self-perception in liberal democratic states. Previous studies on the expansion of citizenship to non-citizens have attributed such changes to the global human rights regime, activist jurors and client politics, and the dynamics of policy-making. However, discussions on citizenship often neglect the recent increase in the number of countries that tolerate dual citizenship. In this paper, I use dual citizenship as an analytic tool to discuss the divergent paths that the two countries, Korea and Japan, have taken to realign their monoethnic nationality with the rapidly changing demographics of the state. By expanding the scope of analysis to non-Western countries, I attempt to test out whether convergence toward an international mean occurs in citizenship policies. I find that the preexisting theories of globalists and liberal-democratic accounts fail to provide adequate explanations on the sudden launch of a partial dual citizenship system in Korea in 2010 and the lack of political interest in Japan. I call for a closer look at the bureaucratic structure of the government as well as political regimes as key factors in inducing legal reforms in the citizenship laws.



Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Junyan Jiang (junyanjiang@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for East Asian Studies, and the Confucius Institute. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

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