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The Local Dimension of Migration Policymaking

The Local Dimension of Migration Policymaking

Tiziana Caponio
Maren Borkert
Series: IMISCOE Reports
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 204
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  • Book Info
    The Local Dimension of Migration Policymaking
    Book Description:

    This book prompts a fresh look on immigrant integration policy. Revealing just where immigrants and their receiving societies interact everyday, it shows how societal inclusion is administered and produced at a local level. The studies presented focus on three issue areas of migration policy - citizenship, welfare services and religious diversity - and consider cities in very different national contexts. Spanning Switzerland, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, the cases display great variety in their theoretical and methodological approaches. In all the countries considered, we see that the local level has an undeniable relevance despite differences in state structures, models of integration and centre-peripheral relations. Particularly for future migration policy research, such a complex comparative exercise thus yields an important universal realisation: the local dimension of migration policymaking matters. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1243-0
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-8)
  3. Introduction: the local dimension of migration policymaking
    (pp. 9-32)
    Maren Borkert and Tiziana Caponio

    Whereas international migration primarily concerns the territorial sovereignty of nation states, being defined as persons crossing national borders, integration touches upon the social boundaries of nations. These geographic and social boundaries constitute the nation state as a collective agent. Immigrants moving into the nationalised territories and societies raise questions about the permeability of established boundaries. Thus, immigration and the integration of newcomers are a national concern in most member states of the EU and abroad.

    Lately, however, it has become increasingly accepted that the majority of immigrants, particularly in Europe, are living in cities and small towns in rural areas...

  4. 1 Naturalisation politics in Switzerland: explaining rejection rates at the local level
    (pp. 33-56)
    Marc Helbling

    The way one gets a passport in Switzerland is very different from the procedures in other countries. To my knowledge, Switzerland is the only nation state in the world where naturalisations happen at the local level. Every municipality, be it a town of 100,000 or a village of 400 inhabitants, is accorded the right to decide who can become a Swiss citizen. As regulations on the national and cantonal (sub-national) levels are very sparse, each political local entity decides on the formal procedure and criteria according to which its alien residents are naturalised. Given the high degree of autonomy possessed...

  5. 2 Grassroots multiculturalism in Italy: Milan, Bologna and Naples compared
    (pp. 57-84)
    Tiziana Caponio

    ‘Multiculturalism’ is one of those polisemic terms whose use is likely to raise a great deal of misunderstandings and incomprehension. It is a notion that may be understood in very different ways (Martiniello 1997; Vertovec & Wassendorf 2004; Sciortino 2003; Vertovec 2007): while in a mere descriptive manner it acknowledges the de facto multicultural makeup of contemporary societies, in political philosophy and public discourse, more prescriptive and value-loaded understandings prevail. In this chapter, I will refer to multiculturalism as an analytical concept, which in sociological and political science research is usually linked to some notion of recognition. This may occur either...

  6. 3 Young immigrants’ low participation in the German vocational training system: how local actors in Munich and Frankfurt/Main try to make a difference
    (pp. 85-108)
    Can M. Aybek

    The vast majority of migration to Western Europe since the 1950s has been to cities (Messina 2007: 27; Van der Gaag, Van Wissen, Salt, Lynus & Clark 2001: 5-16). Manufacturing sector companies were located in these cities and provided the newcomers with a workplace, an income and a perspective on the future. However, the post-industrial urban centres at present are characterised, by a general decline of their blue-collar workforce and a small job market for low-skilled workers. In combination with cutbacks in social budgets in most European countries, these developments initiated stratification processes within the urban communities that created a new...

  7. 4 Local policies concerning unemployment among immigrant youth in Amsterdam and in Berlin: towards strategic replacement and pragmatic accommodation
    (pp. 109-134)
    Floris Vermeulen and Rosanne Stotijn

    This chapter focuses on the manner in which Amsterdam and Berlin policymakers and policy practitioners deal with youth unemployment among immigrant groups. Unemployment among immigrant youth is an important policy topic in both cities (as it is in most other European cities), and the issue is closely linked to debates about local integration policies. We will argue that local policymakers dealing with immigrant youth unemployment are often confronted with what Frank de Zwart (2005) calls ‘the dilemma of recognition’. This dilemma refers to whether local governments should pursue general or targeted policies to combat group inequality. On the one hand,...

  8. 5 Managing religious pluralism in Canadian cities: mosques in Montreal and Laval
    (pp. 135-160)
    Aude-Claire Fourot

    The duty to accommodate, which has had legal force since 1985 following a decision of the Supreme Court,² plays a key role in the area of religious pluralism in Quebec and Canada. It

    requires governmental bodies and private persons or companies to change their rules and policies in order to accommodate the needs of those whose right to equality has been infringed, unless the needed accommodation would impose undue hardship. (Woehrling 1998: 325)

    The duty affects Quebec municipal institutions and confronts them with issues in sharp contrast to the role traditionally assigned to the municipal government, namely, ‘dealing with such...

  9. Conclusion: making sense of local migration policy arenas
    (pp. 161-196)
    Tiziana Caponio

    As pointed out in a recent literature review on the multilevel governance of migration carried out in the context of IMISCOE Cluster C9’s research on immigrant and immigration policymaking can be considered as still in its infancy (Zincone & Caponio 2006). This is even more the case when the local level is considered: not only is research on local immigrant and immigration policy very recent, but the policymaking dimension is only rarely addressed (see also the introduction chapter in this volume). Given the lack of systematic empirical accounts, theorising also appears to be still poorly developed.

    Such an important gap in...

  10. List of contributors
    (pp. 197-198)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 199-203)