Welcome to The Global Indian Series Book Review: Citizenship by Investment-Bedtime Reading

Today, we put two books under the microscope.

Ius Doni in International Law and Eu Law (Theory and Practice of Public International Law)

 Our first book is from the eminent pen of Christian Kälin,  the doyen of Citizenship by investment, not to mention Chairman of Henley & Partners: https://chriskalin.com/ He is a frequent writer and speaker on the subject and (co-)author of several other publications, including the Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook and the Quality of Nationality Index

In ‘Ius Doni’ he introduces the legal concept ‘ius don’i, that is to say the acquisition of citizenship by investment or donation. To put it less euphemistically, it is citizenship in exchange for money.

Historically, in Roman law there have been three main ways in which to acquire citizenship:

• Ius sanguinis ( citizenship by blood)
• Ius soli (citizenship by birthright)
• and ius doni

While the concept of citizenship by donation has never been widespread, there ar precedents in antiquity. The Ancient Athenians’ concept of citizenship reted, for the most part, on birthright. Only male citizens had the vote.
On occasion, Citizenship was granted both to individuals and groups for services to the state. Metics (i.e. foreigners) did not have citizen’s rights in the polis. They were not permitted to own property in Attica, whether farm or house, unless they were granted a special exemption.


‘Civus Romanus sum’

‘Civus Romanus sum’ – those three magic a Roman citizen say. Roman citizens had special privileges and rights, and were certainly of a higher caste that most of the subjugated people of the Roman Empire.

St. Paul

One thinks of St. Paul, as related in the Act of the Apostles. After being arrested in the Temple in Jerusalem, Paul is put in chains and taken to the fortress. With the crowd baying for his death, he calmly announces that he is a citizen of Rome, whereupon the Tribune releases him

Clearly, Kälin is an expert in his field and a keen legal mind. Thin, long-limbed and with a donnish air, he is the ideal person to give the sometimes murky world of citizenship by investment some intellectual (some might say pseudo-intellectual) credibility.

Kälin divides the book into two sections, viz. – law and practice. After a lengthy preamble, he goes on to analyse notion of the ‘ius don’i in both international law and EU law, after which he examines its application in practice and gives examples of best practices among states.
Finally, the book discusses the metaphysical and practical implications for citizenship.

Predictably, Kälin’s prose is turgid at times and the subject dull. However, he has a profound knowledge of his subject and there’s no denying has serious intellectual clout.

But at £110.83 the book, incidentally, is extortionately expensive. Indeed, you could almost acquire citizenship in certain Caribbean countries for the same price!

Citizenship 2.0: Dual Nationality as a Global Asset (Princeton Studies in Global and Comparative Sociology) 


There could be no Citizenship by Investment without the juggernaut of globalisation. The increasing interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures, and populations is relentless and seemingly unstoppable.

By curtailing trade and movement, the Covid-19 pandemic has served to highlight the extent to which the world relies on global supply chains. Globalisation can trace its origins to the Industrial revolution. It has been brought about by international trade in goods and services, technology, better transport ( canals, trains, steamships aeroplanes) and flows of investment, people, and information across national borders.

The Rise of the Duel Citizen

Another knock-on effect of the process is the increasing demand for duel citizenship, particularly among South Asians, Eastern Europeans and Latin Americans.

In this meticulously researched if rather dry book, Yossi Harpaz does an admirable job of explaining the rise of the duel citizen. He confines himself to three cases: Israelis who acquire citizenship from European-origin countries such as Germany or Poland; Hungarian-speaking citizens of Serbia who obtain a second citizenship from Hungary (and thus EU citizenship); and Mexicans who give birth in the United States to secure American citizenship for their children.

Like many evangelists for ‘Global Citizenship’ Yossi Harpazclaims that people increasingly view nationality merely as a mean to an end rather than as a hallowed symbol of a unique national identity. His argument rests for the most part on anecdotal evidence and one feels he could do more to prove his case.

It is perfectly true that many people do enjoy duel citizenship, such in Israelis acquiring German citizenship and indeed people of Indian origin. Millions draw on their ancestry to claim citizenship from Western or EU countries.

Interestingly, Harpaz points out that the second, higher-tier nationality is not necessarily invoked as a means of emigrating. Instead, it is acquired to makes up for limitations or deficits in one’s primary resident citizenship such as security, rights, education and travel freedom. Thus, a second passport is a ticket upward mobility for transnational immigrants from less-developed countries who seek ‘higher-value citizenship’ in a richer or more politically stable country.

While it is true we live in a better connected world and globalisation has served to make the world smaller, Harpaz’s evangelical optimism that globalisation is rendering geography and national identity increasingly irrelevant is misplaced. Nationalism is on the rise and the brave new world where citizenship becomes capital is either a hard one privilege or the preserve of the super rich who can acquire citizenship with a gold-card.


Support change: A little favour to ask-We believe true freedom is to be able to act without fear or favour and that identity is not a “brand” to be abused, politicized, or reduced for personal gain. As Global Indians, the need to work together is greater now than ever before.  If we want to see real change, we need to create a better society for all, tackle injustice and plunge into the many aspects of what the human experience truly offers.The Global Indian Series has been built to be a platform of integrity, fairness and to remain fiercely independent of political influence. We are the first in the world to connect with every echelon of society with all human voices being treated equally.  We are the first to have travelled physically to locations far and wide, often putting our own lives on the line to bring forward stories that deserve to be told.  Whether it’s through our Podcast that delves into the human experience behind identity, our articles and features that cover key events we need to know, or live based events that tackle topical discussions, we have been there to support a better community and planet.Despite the high costs and time needed to maintain our work, we continue, because we know our work has helped more people understand what is happening within the communities across our planet, why it matters, and how, together, we can demand progress.  We challenge head-on, the silent divisions that have crept into our collective consciousness and how to tackle key issues that often go neglected in mainstream media.How you can help:Please share our work: By collaborating with others who share our values, our combined voices make change, with many more becoming inspired to take meaningful action.Subscribe to the platform:Many from across our community have decided to subscribe to our platform. It helps us grow which in turns attracts like-minded supporters. If you have not already, we would appreciate you subscribing to our newsletters and following our social media accounts. It is free and supports our journey.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *