Implicit and explicit state attachment among single and dual American citizens

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With increasing levels of globalization and changing patterns of migration, there is a growing interest in the nature of citizenship. Dual citizenship is of particular interest because it is a category that connotes symmetrical ties between an individual and two states, but few studies have examined state attachment among dual citizens. We address this question by comparing American dual citizens’ attitudes and behaviors toward the US in two ways: by comparing US single and dual citizens and by comparing dual citizens’ attitudes and behaviors regarding their two countries of citizenship. Comparisons are made using both self-report measures and implicit measures. By using the implicit association test (IAT), we capture implicit self-state associations while largely circumventing the issue of social desirability. Results indicate that single citizens are more attached to the US compared to dual citizens. Dual citizens showed symmetrical attachment toward their two countries of citizenship, but participated more in US politics than in their other country. The findings provide a better understanding of the attitudes and behaviors of dual citizens and suggest new directions for research on the relationship between individuals and the state.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-314
JournalPolitics, Groups, and Identities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • State attachment
  • political involvement
  • implicit
  • identity
  • citizenship


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