GIGA researcher Luicy Pedroza has won the German Political Science Association’s (DVPW) Dietrich Thränhardt Award for her doctoral dissertation "Citizenship before Nationality. How Democracies Redefine Citizenship by Debating the Extension of Voting Rights to Settled Immigrants".
© Christoph Schiffer
Prof. Dr. Dietrich Thränhardt himself will hand the award to Dr. Luicy Pedroza on 10 October 2014 as part of the "Tag der Partizipation" forum in the city of Freiburg. Pedroza is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the GIGA and a member of the DFG-funded project Emigrant Policies. The prize for her dissertation, which was written at the University of Bremen, will be given to her under the DVPW’s migration policy category.
In her dissertation, Pedroza compared enfranchisement processes for non-citizen migrants in over 30 countries in the world, looking at the conditions under which the franchise is extended, the varieties of political rights extended, the selectivity involved in the franchise (whether all non-citizens or only a subset of them are enfranchised), and also at the relation of the enfranchisement reforms to existing naturalization rules. After this broad comparative analysis, her dissertation undertook a deeper qualitative study of the political processes that have led to different enfranchisement reforms. For example, the long-standing enfranchisement processes in Germany provided a complex case, in which some states have passed enfranchisement reforms, taking bold steps forward in the realm of their jurisdiction within the federal structure, only to have them reversed later by the Federal Constitutional Court. As Pedroza shows, the debates are still underway today in Germany.
One of Pedroza’s main findings was that the debates about extending voting rights to migrants have redefined traditional understandings of citizenship – generally assumed to be very resilient to change – in relatively short periods of time, and that centre-left parties have played a central role in this process.
This is the first time the DVPW has awarded the Dietrich Thränhardt Award, which is intended to recognize excellent dissertation projects that theoretically and empirically examine the content, structure and processes of local, regional, national and international migration and integration policies.
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