Ethics and Global Politics 15 (1):1-7 (2022)

Daniel Sharp
New York University
In ‘Are Citizenship Tests Necessarily Illiberal?’, Michael Blake argues that difficult citizenship tests are not necessarily illiberal, so long as they test for the right things. In this paper, I argue that Blake’s attempt to square citizenship tests with liberalism fails. Blake underestimates the burdens citizenship tests impose on immigrants, ignoring in particular the egalitarian claims immigrants have on equal social membership. Moreover, Blake’s positive justification of citizenship tests – that they help justify immigrants’ coercive voting power – both neglects the fact that such tests are coercively imposed on immigrants and that the citizenship test Blake envisions does little to help ensure immigrants’ votes are legitimate. Citizenship tests thus aren’t, even in principle, a way of protecting citizens from unjustified coercive power. They are, even under favourable circumstances, an illiberal way of obstructing immigrants’ quest for social equality.
Keywords citizenship tests   citizenship   egalitarianism   immigration   relational egalitarianism   immigration
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/16544951.2022.2031588
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Immigration.Joseph Carens - 2013 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Rule Over None II: Social Equality and the Justification of Democracy.Niko Kolodny - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):287-336.
Democratic Equality and Political Authority.Daniel Viehoff - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):337-375.
Are Citizenship Tests Necessarily Illiberal?Michael Blake - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (2):313-329.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Citizenship Tests Necessarily Illiberal?Michael Blake - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (2):313-329.
Selling Citizenship: A Defence.Javier Hidalgo - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (3):223-239.
Citizenship, Egalitarianism and Global Justice.Chris Armstrong - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (5):603-621.
Are Civic Integration Tests Justifiable? A Three-Step Test.Bouke de Vries - 2018 - In Annabelle Lever & Andrei Poama (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy. Oxford: Routledge. pp. pp.407-421.
Citizenship and Exclusion.Shadia B. Drury - 1997 - Palgrave Macmillan.
Citizenship and Exclusion.Bader Veit - 1995 - Political Theory 23 (2):211-246.


Added to PP index

Total views
34 ( #334,911 of 2,505,184 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
34 ( #26,345 of 2,505,184 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes