Nouvel article d'Emanuele Politi (KU Leuven, UNIL), Oriane Sarrasin & Christian Staerklé (Institut de psychologie, UnilaPS) dans British Journal of Social Psychology
Naturalization policies prescribe the conditions immigrants must fulfil to be legally recognized as national citizens in a receiving country. When changes in naturalization policies are publicly debated, divergent opinions on national boundary making reveal social representations of citizenship as spaces of political contention. This research offers a socio-dynamic analysis of citizenship representations in the context of a recent referendum on a simplified naturalization procedure for third-generation immigrants in Switzerland. Automatic lexicometric techniques enriched with reflexive thematic analysis were performed on a post-vote survey (VOTO, N = 998), to examine how voters grounded their voting decisions via different citizenship representations. The results showed that ascribed criteria based on natural birthrights and cultural assimilation were mobilized in favour of more permissive access to nationality. Conversely, allegedly achievable criteria based on citizenship deservingness were mobilized against. These findings provide new evidence about citizenship deservingness as a neoliberal strategy legitimizing exclusive national boundary making.