A better reward? Public attitudes to citizenship


This report from UK think tank Bright Blue looks at public attitudes to the benefits and criteria for citizenship.

In recent years, successive Governments have deliberately tried to make applying citizenship harder, while citizenship and residency fees have markedly increased so that Britain now has some of the highest citizenship fees in the world. This is concerning in light of the domestic and international research demonstrating individual and societal benefits of citizenship, as is the overall decline in citizenship applications Britain has witnessed over the past decade. There has been some polling on public attitudes on citizenship, but it appears to overlook three particular aspects. First, testing attitudes towards specific and detailed elements of current citizenship policy. Second, examining what public appetite there is for reform of current citizenship policies. Third, testing how attitudes vary among different groups of people. Considering we have a Conservative Government, there is significant political value in understanding how Conservative voters think about citizenship, as this might make the Government more likely to reform certain current policies. This analysis tests public attitudes on the importance of, benefits of and criteria for citizenship. The findings provide policy ideas for — and a strong case to — this Conservative Government for reforming the citizenship process.

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