Balancing Citizenship of Insiders and Outsiders September 2013 – April 2017


This project is part of ‘All Rights Reserved? Barriers towards EUropean CITIZENship (bEUcitizen)’, a European research project involving a consortium of 26 universities coordinated by Utrecht University. bEU is a multinational and multidisciplinary project that aims to identify and analyse the ‘barriers’ to exercising the rights conferred by European citizenship. The project consists of 12 different work packages (WPs) exploring different elements of the issue, each with their own research objective and focus. Bridget Anderson and Isabel Shutes co-ordinate Work Package 10 (WP10).

WP10 explores how ‘citizenship’ is both a legal and a normative status through focussing on the intersections between EU mobility, naturalisation and welfare benefits. It aims to develop a framework for comparing rights and obligations of citizens/non-citizens, highlighting formal and informal processes of inclusion/exclusion, and formal and normative status of citizenship. It examines the increasingly complex institutional framework through which rights (and obligations) within welfare states and labour markets are stratified among formal citizens, as well as between citizens and non-citizens. It also looks to provide a comparative analysis of the interactions between the restructuring of labour markets and welfare states, citizenship and immigration, across and within the five European countries (UK, Croatia, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain) and one non-EU country (Israel) involved in the project.


Bridget Anderson
Sarah Walker
Isabel Shutes (London School of Economics)


European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

Professionals' Advisory Group

London School of Economics (LSE)
University of Utrecht
University of Zagreb
University College Dublin
Hebrew University Jerusalem
University of Oviedo

News & Media

The numbers game: illusions of control
Blog | COMPAS Communications

Barriers to EU citizenship: Insiders and outsiders in the context of the UK
Blog | COMPAS Communications

Media agendas and the corrosive use of water metaphors
Blog | COMPAS Communications

What is work?
bEU blog | Bridget Anderson | 6 Nov 2014

Third Country Nationals: included or excluded?
bEU blog | Bridget Anderson | 28 Jul 2014

Being British: Embarrassment and Surprise
bEU blog | Bridget Anderson | 17 Feb 2014


Croatia, Ireland, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, UK


CareCitizenshipEuropean UnionGenderWelfare




The project draws on three different literatures on citizenship: citizenship as a formal legal status, citizenship as social rights and citizenship as belonging. It works to integrate these different theoretical approaches into a single analytical framework.


The project uses a critical desk based review of policy, legislation and data in the respective countries involved in the project and a cross-national comparison of the overarching themes. Its later stages will require analysis of national case studies of particular populations that highlight intersections between different understandings of citizenships.


Among the initial findings of the research are:

  • In the case of intra-European mobility of EU citizens, entry controls cannot function to prevent the entry of ‘low skilled’ workers, and restricting access to welfare states has become bound up with attempts to limit mobility. Exercising social rights therefore becomes a mechanism of exclusion from settlement (and also from naturalisation);
  • Work-related conditions both restrict the welfare entitlements of national citizens and serve as a means for states to control access to territory (EEA). Not having ‘work’ can mean a person is a not-quite-good-enough citizen (Anderson, 2013), as well as not good enough to be an EU citizen in terms of freedom of movement. Migrants are also increasingly reduced to their economic value, and mobility based around the contribution they are deemed to be able to make to states. Thus, the status of ‘worker-citizen’ is increasingly a necessary requirement to access state territory, citizenship, and welfare;
  • There is a tension between citizenship as indicative of formal membership of the state, and citizenship as emblematic of belonging to the nation. There are interesting contradictions between the stipulated requirements to access state territory and those same requirements to access social assistance. For example, what counts as a ‘genuine relationship’ is very different under immigration regulations than it is under welfare regimes;
  • Differential inclusion and exclusion: EU nationals residing in an EU state of which they are not a citizen are not totally included, but neither necessarily are nationals (e.g. Roma). Similarly, Third Country Nationals are not totally excluded: TCNs with legal permanent residence have many of the rights of citizens (though not rights as EU nationals).