Becoming Europe

Becoming Europe: Immigration Integration And The Welfare State

Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Becoming Europe
    Book Description:

    Across Europe, millions of immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers have often had difficulties fitting into their new societies. Most analysts have laid the blame on a clash of cultures.Becoming Europeprovides evidence that institutions matter more than culture in determining the shape of ethnic relations.Patrick Ireland argues that it is incorrect blithely to anticipate unavoidable conflict between Muslim immigrants and European host societies. Noting similarities in the structure of the welfare states in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium-as well as in their respective North African and Turkish immigrant communities-he compares national- and city-level developments to show how approaches toward immigrant settlement have diverged widely and evolved over time.Becoming Europedemonstrates how policymakers have worked hard to balance immigrants' claims to distinct traditions with demands for equal treatment. Ultimately, it reveals a picture of people learning by doing in the day-to-day activities that shape how communities come together and break apart.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7257-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. 1 INTRODUCTION Europe’s Immigrant Integration Crisis
    (pp. 1-26)

    Today people are displaying on a daily basis their willingness to risk everything for a job or refuge in Europe, fleeing strife and economic stagnation in the South. The northern Moroccan coast and the small Italian island of Lampedusa, just off the Tunisian coast, have become stepping stones for North and sub-Saharan Africans, Turkish Kurds, and others desperate to cross to the other side of the Mediterranean. The drowned end up snagged in fishing nets and washed up on Sicilian and Spanish beaches. European customs officials uncover suffocated Asians and Africans in cargo containers loaded into the holds of big-rig...

  7. 2 GERMANY Social Policy and the Construction of Ethnic Identities
    (pp. 27-59)

    Germany, Europe’s indispensable country, has occupied a central position in struggles over both social policy and immigrant-origin populations. Since World War II, the German social market economy and, by extension, German prosperity have rested heavily on both. Coming under increasing pressure, the country’s welfare state has appeared to confound calls for thorough reorganization by adjusting only incrementally (Cox 2001). When it comes to immigration-related issues, Germany has been seen as closed and irredeemably fixated on blood and “the people”(das Volk). It has been criticized for refusing to accept itself as an immigration country and for making “no attempt to...

  8. 3 GERMAN CITIES AND CITY-STATES Facing Diversity in Diverse Ways
    (pp. 60-115)

    The decentralization, privatization, and delegation of German social policy detailed in the preceding chapter rooted immigrant integration processes in the country’s urban neighborhoods. There, residents of native and immigrant backgrounds lived and built a multicultural reality on a daily basis (see Zaptçioglu 1998). Noisy immigrant-origin children playing in an apartment building courtyard, a discotheque’s refusal to allow admittance to those children’s older brothers and sisters, automobile insurance companies’ discrimination against nonnationals, reservations about Muslim burial practices and religious celebrations—such sticking points were at the center of the integration challenge.

    Local governments operated in a context of external constraints and...

  9. 4 THE NETHERLANDS Pillars, Pragmatism, and Welfare State Restructuring
    (pp. 116-162)

    As the twenty-first century began, German ethnic relations owed more to social policy restructuring and related integration policies than to immigrants’ ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Instead of climbing in linear fashion, ethnic tensions fluctuated over time and location. They were not always high. Generally, in fact, they were lower than might have been expected, given the enormity of the challenges associated with immigration and the ferocity of the anti-immigrant reaction.

    Belying their reputation for passivity in this area, federal, federal-state, and local governments actively sought to facilitate immigrant integration, even if they were not willing or able to dispense large...

  10. 5 BELGIUM Between Cultural Pluralism and Liberal Neutrality
    (pp. 163-209)

    To understand the small but complicated country of Belgium, one must keep in mind that it comprises several separate nations: Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, French-speaking Wallonia in the south, officially bilingual Brussels in between, and a tiny German-language region off to the east. Between the 1970s and the early 2000s, Belgium’s integration policies grew more regionally variegated as its welfare state underwent decentralization far more definitively than its Dutch or German counterparts. Flanders and Wallonia followed distinctive paths—though, by the end of the period, their policies came together a bit as Flemish and Walloon policymakers learned from each...

  11. 6 CONCLUSION The Defining Role of Policies and Institutions
    (pp. 210-234)

    Ethnic tensions have not always and everywhere wracked European societies. The integration of Europe’s immigrants, it should be clear by now, is a broad, multifaceted, dynamic process that has affected the “hosts” as much, if not more, than the former “guests.” Integration is not an endpoint or the outcome of any discrete policy. Nor have policies designed to bring about immigrant integration necessarily gone missing or fallen short. Countries have varied in the extent to which they have developed direct and indirect integration policies and in their emphases, content, bases, and impact. Those institutional and policy differences have mattered.


  12. NOTES
    (pp. 235-238)
    (pp. 239-266)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 267-274)