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Northern Exposure: The New Danish Model of Citizenship Test

Author(s): Silvia Adamo

Journal: International Journal of Multicultural Societies
ISSN 1817-4574

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Citizenship tests | migration | naturalisation | Denmark

The paper begins with a discussion of the general context ofnaturalisation in Denmark from a politico-legal angle, and sets theframe for the current debate on the introduction of the citizenship test. The second section analyses the content of the citizenship test and the arguments that have accompanied its adoption. The third section offers a more theoretical approach to the use of citizenship tests,evaluating the arguments in favour and against this practice incitizenship regulation. In this analysis, comparisons are drawn withthe Canadian citizenship test and policy, and reference made to thetheoretical model of multiculturalism developed by Will Kymlicka.The conclusion is provisional and takes into consideration the factthat the citizenship test is a relatively new introduction in Denmark,which makes its impact difficult to measure in empirical terms. There is, however, some evidence to suggest that the test was introduced in Denmark as another rung on the ladder to achieving citizenship, adding to the other rather onerous requirements already in place (long residence, advanced language skills and renunciation of former citizenship). For many applicants it thus may play a gatekeeping role.
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