Economic citizenship

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Economic citizenship can be used to represent both the economic contributions requisite to become a citizen as well as the role in which ones economic standing can influence his or her rights as a citizen. The relationship between economic participation and citizenship can be considered contributing factor to increasing inequalities and unequal representation of different socioeconomic classes within a country.

Republican notions of citizenship[edit]

The republican model of citizenship emphasizes one’s active participation in civil society as a means of defining his or her citizenship.[1] Initially used to describe citizenship in ancient Greece, the republican notion focuses on how political participation is linked with one’s indent as a citizen, stemming from Aristotle’s definition of citizenship as the ability to rule and be ruled.

In relation to economic citizenship the civil participation discussed by Aristotle can be described as economic participation so critical to the capitalist system. Defining one’s ability to be a full citizenship by his or her economic participation will establish a variegated system of citizenship in which those who can contribute most to the economy will be better represented and have a broader range of rights than those who cannot contribute as much. Variegated citizenship represents the concept that those within a different regime or status receive different levels of rights and privileges.[2]

Economic citizenship in theory[edit]

T.H. Marshall acknowledges this concept in his discussion on the relationships between social class, capitalism and citizenship. He argues that capitalism is reliant upon social classes which directly relates to differentiated concepts of citizenship.[3]

Similarly, Alice Kessler-Harris discusses the relationship between one’s ability to labor, and his or her right to equal wages as a component of citizenship. Her central argument addresses how denying a woman the right to labor and equal wages limits her identity as a citizen.[4]

The arguments by both of these theorists contribute to the notion of economic citizenship because they highlight both how economic standing and participation can be linked to one’s identity and privileges as a citizen.

Economic citizenship in the United States[edit]

Economic citizenship programs in the United States currently require [more info needed]


Citizenship by investment[edit]

The second notion of economic citizenship is related to the national policies of states in which one has the ability to gain citizenship through capital investment. The level in which one can become a citizen varies by state and is at the discretion of governments. The majority of states with such policies have previously been small Caribbean nations such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Kitts & Nevis. However, there are new entrants including Malta and Cyprus both members of the EU. Additionally, Portugal has joined other countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, Bulgaria and the UK which offer options for investors to become residents and eventually citizens.[6] Such programs are otherwise known as Immigrant Investor Programs.

When taking up citizenship in another country, one very important issue that needs to be considered is dual citizenship laws and regulations. In certain countries, becoming a citizen of another country results into automatically losing the original citizenship.

Benefits of Economic Citizenship[edit]

  • To overcome your present nationality limits on your investment, exposure to taxation on your income, capital or assets worldwide.
  • To overcome the limitations of travelling on your passport
  • To evade the forced military services for you or your children in your country.
  • To avoid the terrorism risks arising of your nationality.
  • To pursue dual citizenship
  • Enjoy permanent residency of your favorite country


  1. ^ "Citizenship (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 13 Oct. 2006. Web. 23 Nov. 2011.
  2. ^ Ong, Aihwa. Flexibile Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. 217. Print.
  3. ^ Marshall, T.H. "Citizenship and Social Class." The Citizenship Debates: a Reader. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1998. 93-111. Print.
  4. ^ Kessler-Harris, Alice. “In Pursuit of Economic Citizenship,” Social Politics, vol. 10, no. 2 (summer 2003): 157-175.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference undefined was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Hampton & Partners. "Citizenship by Investment." Hampton Global. Thur. 09 Apr. 2015.


  1. ^ Caribbean Trust "Citizenship"