in Cheap Thoughts, Futurist

Cheap Thoughts: virtual citizenship

My Dutch friend and former coworker Guus Bosman was quoted in this Economist article about dual citizenship.

It made me think again that, in such an interconnected world, we may one day choose our citizenship by the way we now choose hotel and airfare rates on sites like by comparison shopping online. Citizenship will become like today’s flags of convenience. Borders are becoming less important, are they not?

It’s not something I expect to live to see, of course, but it does make an interesting thought experiment!

AT THE height of the Dutch golden age, merchants exported their goods and their families to colonies on four continents. Four centuries later their descendants are less impressed by such adventuring. A new law proposed by the Dutch government aims not only to limit dual nationality among immigrants (in 2011 around 20,000 people gained Dutch nationality through naturalisation) but also to make it easier for the authorities to strip members of the 850,000-plus Dutch diaspora of their nationality, should they secure a second citizenship abroad.

Guus Bosman, a Dutchman living in Washington, DC, calls the proposal “mean-spirited”. Eelco Keij, a Dutch citizen in New York and one of the loudest critics of his government’s proposals, thinks that these days dual nationality is no more than “a harmless side-effect of globalisation”.

via Dual citizenship: Dutchmen grounded | The Economist.