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This paper compares the levels of socio-cultural integration of naturalised and non-naturalised immigrants in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Socio-cultural integration is measured by host-country identification, proficiency and use of the host-country language, and interethnic social contacts. To increase cross-national comparability, we focus on immigrants from two rural regions in Turkey who migrated before 1975. Based on the assumption that easily accessible citizenship promotes socio-cultural integration, we test two hypotheses. First, whether naturalised immigrants display higher levels of socio-cultural integration than non-naturalised immigrants. Second, whether immigrants in countries with few preconditions for naturalisation show higher levels of socio-cultural integration. We find that naturalisation is positively associated with socio-cultural integration only in those countries—France and Germany—that have traditionally required a certain degree of cultural assimilation from their new citizens. Regarding country differences, we find that Turkish immigrants in France show higher levels of socio-cultural integration on all four indicators. For host-country identification, they share this position with Dutch Turks. The results show that limited cultural assimilation conditions tied to citizenship may be helpful in promoting socio-cultural integration, but also that the allowance of dual nationality does not have the negative effects that are sometimes ascribed to it.

More information


Journal article


Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Publication Date



36 (5)


773 - 791


Citizenship, Naturalisation Policies, Dual Nationality, Socio-Cultural Integration