Nations and Nationalism vol:16 issue:4 pages:579-597
The traditional distinction between civic and ethnic citizenship continues to dominate the study of citizenship concepts. In recent years, various authors have questioned the dichotomous character of these concepts. In this article, we empirically investigate the applicability of this dichotomy based on an analysis of International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) survey data across thirty-three societies. The analysis demonstrates that this dichotomous structure can indeed be detected and therefore the theoretical dichotomy can be considered as empirically valid. While ethnic citizenship refers most strongly to having national ancestry, for civic citizenship the most important criterion seems to be to obey national laws. However, the ethnic concept of citizenship can also be defined in a negative manner: for ethnic citizenship, obeying the national laws is clearly not a sufficient condition. Further analysis also reveals that the measurement of both concepts is not equivalent cross-nationally, so that findings on civic and ethnic citizenship are difficult to compare across societies.