The ethno-demographic impact of co-ethnic citizenship in Central and Eastern Europe

C. Dumbrava*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) grant preferential access to citizenship to co-ethnics living outside their borders. This overlaps with several key regional demographic trends, such as a dramatic decrease of fertility rates, high emigration and changes in the ethnic structure of the populations. The paper analyses co-ethnic citizenship policies of five CEE countries in order to assess their demographic impact on both the kin-states and on the communities of co-ethnics living outside their kin-state. It argues that, despite their important potential, co-ethnic citizenship policies in the region have yielded little ethno-demographic benefits. The size of both core ethnic groups in the kin-state and of co-ethnic communities living outside the kin-state has decreased throughout the region. Moreover, on several occasions, the situation of co-ethnics has worsened as a direct consequence of co-ethnic citizenship policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-974
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019


  • bulgaria
  • central and eastern europe
  • citizenship
  • demography
  • diaspora
  • ethnicity
  • kin-states
  • nationalism
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Citizenship


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