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Related to citizenship: Dual citizenship


Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a person’s affiliation with a given state, as a result of which he is covered by the rights and duties established by the legislation of the state with the assurance of state protection for his rights. In states with a monarchical form of government the term “subject” is used.

The procedure for acquiring or losing citizenship is regulated by the legislation of each state. As a rule, the legislation of all states distinguishes between the acquisition of citizenship by birth (filiation) and by naturalization. In deciding the question of the acquisition of citizenship by birth, two principles are used. The first is the national principle—the so-called blood right (jus sanguinis), according to which a child’s citizenship depends on the parents’ citizenship, regardless of the place of birth. Under the territorial principle—the so-called right of the soil (jus soli), citizenship is based on the place of birth and is not connected to the parents’ citizenship. The legislation of most bourgeois states combines these two principles with the observance of certain mandatory conditions.

In the socialist countries existing laws on citizenship provide for full equality of citizens, regardless of race or nationality, and equal rights for men and women. When citizenship is given by birth, the principle of blood right is applied. If one of the child’s parents is a foreigner, citizenship is usually determined by agreement between the parents.

In the USSR a single union citizenship has been established: every citizen of a union republic is a citizen of the USSR, and citizens of one union republic enjoy equal rights with the citizens of another union republic when they are on its territory. Soviet citizenship is granted to foreigners who petition for it by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or by the presidium of the supreme soviet of the union republic in which they reside. Renunciation of Soviet citizenship can be authorized only by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. When parents change their citizenship, either becoming Soviet citizens or renouncing their Soviet citizenship, the citizenship of their children who have not reached 14 years of age is changed accordingly. The citizenship of children 14 to 18 years old cannot be changed without their consent.

The marriage of a male or female citizen of the USSR to a person who is not a Soviet citizen does not entail a change of citizenship. Deprivation of Soviet citizenship can occur only by the issuing in each case of a special decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or by sentence of a court in instances provided for under the law.

Persons who are residing in the USSR but who are not citizens of the USSR and do not have corroboration of their citizenship in another state are considered persons without citizenship. They have the same rights and duties as citizens of the USSR, except the right to vote, the right to be elected, and the military obligation.

Questions of changing citizenship in other socialist countries are regulated according to similar principles.


Shevtsov, V. S. Sovetskoe grazhdanstvo. Moscow, 1965.
Chernichenko, S. V. Mezhdunarodno-pravovye voprosy grazhdanstva. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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