Title: Nationality and citizenship in the Spanish constitutional democracy

Authors: Benito Aláez Corral

Addresses: Department of Public Law, University of Oviedo, Campus del Cristo s/n, E-33006 – Oviedo, Spain

Abstract: The terms nationality and citizenship are often used as synonymous or as concentric circles, ignoring their different functionality within the legal system. The paper shows how nationality and citizenship serve to measure respectively the greater or lesser degree of individual subjection to the legal system and the varying degrees of social participation, contributing thereby the nationality to the maintenance of external functional differentiation of the legal system and the citizenship to its internal differentiation. Accordingly, from the point of view of democratic pluralism and equality, the paper challenges the nationality criteria and the ethno-political requirements for naturalising, used to build a culturally homogeneous people. Identically, the paper questions the idea of reducing citizenship to core political rights and remarks that there are more ways of social participation than politics and that politics admit different levels of participation that correspond to different degrees of citizenship.

Keywords: nationality criteria; citizenship; democracy; naturalisation; sovereignty; multiculturalism; comparative constitutional law; fundamental rights; Spain; democratic pluralism; equality; political rights; social participation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2015.070606

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2015 Vol.3 No.2, pp.115 - 136

Published online: 11 Jul 2015 *

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