Document Type

Article

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Abstract

As anyone familiar with Professor Neuman's work would anticipate, he has taken on a neglected but important subject-the normative foundations of the American law of naturalization-and illuminated it in the lambent light cast by his powerful analytical intellect. By testing the. principal structural and doctrinal elements that define our naturalization law against normative models of justification, Professor Neuman raises significant questions about this law-about its philosophical coherence, empirical grounding, policy choices, and responsiveness to social change. Because I agree with most of Professor Neuman's observations on these issues and because a commentator should seek to improve the author's final product, I shall limit most of my comments to the relatively few points with which I disagree or that I feel should be clarified. These points, however, should not obscure my overall admiration for the paper's considerable achievement. After making these critical points, I shall conclude my comments by briefly exploring how his models might be applied to an important dimension of naturalization policy to which his paper only alludes: the polity's stance toward the individual's decision about whether or not to apply for membership.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1994

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