Against the backdrop of international migration and the rise of right-wing populism, debates on citizenship policies intensified. This article seeks to explain why some Central and Eastern European countries adopted more inclusive access to nationality rules for non-ethnic immigrants than others. Encompassing the period from 1990 to 2014, the analysis focuses on four factors: left–right ideological position of governments, electoral strength of far-right parties, the size of expatriate/kin minority populations, and the importance of national minority issues. Using fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis, the article found that strong far-right parties, important national minority issues, and sizable expatriate/kin minority populations all contributed to restrictive citizenship policies in Central and Eastern Europe. However, none of these factors were necessary or sufficient. Meanwhile, inclusive access to nationality rules were adopted in those countries where far-right parties failed to register important electoral successes and national minority issues were relatively insignificant.

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