Home Sociology Integration Processes and Policies in Europe
Structure of the Book
Whereas the European Commission has shifted to a three-way process approach which aims to promote the role of sending countries in immigrants' integration, the academic literature has so far continued its almost exclusive focus on the interplay between immigrants and the receiving society. Drawing on existing studies, this book addresses this disconnect between policy and academic research by considering the extent to which the EU's three-way process approach to integration finds legitimation in what we know about integration, integration policies, and the role of sending states in immigration and integration processes. In that sense, this book should be understood as a state-of-the-art volume that takes stock of and presents existing knowledge to assess the relevance of incorporating the sending states into analyses of immigrants' integration processes and policies.
In line with recent approaches to the concept of integration, Chap. 2 by Penninx and Garcés-Mascareñas sets up an analytical framework for the study of integration processes and policies. The first part focuses on the concept of integration, introducing an open, non-normative analytical definition and identifying the main dimensions, parties involved, levels of analysis, and other relevant factors such as time and generations. The second part defines integration policies and proposes a distinction between policy frames and concrete policy measures as well as a shift from government to governance so as to account for the complex, multilayered and often contradictory character of integration policies. In the broader context of this book, the analytical framework proposed in this chapter leads us to a twofold conclusion: the concept of integration and integration policies is made dramatically more complex, in particular, by taking a disaggregated approach that considers not only multiple reference populations but also distinct processes occurring in different dimensions and domains. At the same time, immigrants' integration continues to be seen essentially as a two-way process involving the immigrants themselves and the receiving society.
In Chap. 3, Van Mol and De Valk provide a general background to help us to understand the first key actor of the abovementioned binomial, that is, the immigrants themselves. In particular, the authors analyse the main socio-demographic changes in migration patterns towards and within Europe since the 1950s. Making use of secondary literature and available statistical data, they first describe the main phases in immigration, its backgrounds and determinants, depending on immigrants' origins and reasons to migrate and with regard to different European regions. In the second part of the chapter, the authors narrow the focus to the specificities of recent patterns of mobility within Europe. Analysing both migration flows and the residing migrant population across Europe, they distinguish different sociodemographic characteristics of migrants depending on countries of origin and destination. For instance, while Polish migration to Germany seems to be dominated by men aged between 20 and 50 years old, Polish immigrants in the Netherlands are significantly younger and more equally balanced in terms of gender. The analysis of intra-European mobility shows that in North-Western Europe (e.g., in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands) intra-European migrants account for more than the half of total immigration, meaning that a substantial proportion of new immigrants falls outside those categorized as target groups of EU integration policies.
The subsequent three chapters focus on the second actor of the binomial, that is, the receiving society, particularly the characteristics and main developments of immigration and integration policies. In Chap. 4, Doomernik and Bruquetas-Callejo distinguish between different immigration and integration policy regimes in Europe. The first is that of North-Western European countries, which evolved from guest worker policies that considered immigrants only as temporary workers to national integration policies that recognize them as permanent citizens and, more recently, to policies that promote and even increasingly demand immigrants' cultural assimilation. The second integration regime is that of the Southern European countries, characterized mainly by labour considerations with much lesser welfare provisions and a limited number of bottom-up integration initiatives implemented mostly at the local level. The third regime is that of most Eastern European countries, with their very low immigration flows and nascent integration policies resulting from the availability of EU funds rather than from any real societal or political demand. Finally, the authors refer to a fourth model developed for asylum seekers at the EU level. Here, there is a clear disconnect between the immigration and integration regimes. While the EU is developing a common approach to asylum seekers, reception facilities and integration policies differ considerably among member states. This chapter's historical and comparative overview of immigration and integration regimes in Europe allows the authors to conclude that the reception context can change tremendously depending on the historical and national contexts.
Chapter 5 by Mügge and Van der Haar focuses on the basic mechanism of categorization in policymaking and implementation. They show how laws and policies construct explicit and implicit categories by distinguishing, for instance, between “wanted” and “unwanted” immigrants or between immigrants “in need of integration” and immigrants “already integrated” or “beyond integration”. Interestingly, the chapter concludes that whereas laws and policies distinguish between European citizens and third-country nationals (TCNs), important hierarchies exist within each category based on a combination of identity markers such as gender, class, and ethnicity. Under what conditions do these policy categories and terms render stereotypes, prejudices, and potential discrimination, and how does this impact immigration and integration trajectories? Based on several concrete cases, the authors propose that immigrants' integration is shaped not only by explicit integration policies (e.g., more or less access to welfare provisions) but also by the way policies explicitly and implicitly perceive, problematize, and categorize immigrants. This leads, among other things, to significantly different categorizations of who is in need of integration at different policy levels (i.e., the EU, national, and local).
Whereas Chaps. 4 and 5 mainly focus on national policies, Chap. 6 by Scholten and Penninx analyses migration and integration as multilevel policy issues and explores the consequences in terms of multilevel governance. The fact that both migration and integration are increasingly becoming multilevel policy issues has brought opportunities as well as significant challenges, such as the constant struggle between national governments and the EU about the amount of discretion that states have in interpreting EU directives and, more recently, involvement of local and regional governments in debates about intra-EU migration and migrant integration. With these questions in mind, this chapter offers an analysis of the evolution of migration and integration policies at various levels over the last decades. This equips us to understand the factors that drive policies, the extent to which these create convergence or divergence, and how we can better describe and categorize the relations between different levels of government.
The last four chapters shift the focus to the sending states and their relationship with immigrants' integration. Chap. 7 by Mügge provides a state-of-the-art exposition of European scholarship on the transnationalism–integration nexus. In particular, it examines how the existing literature views the relation between immigrants' transnational activities and ties to the country of origin, on one hand, and immigrants' integration in the receiving country, on the other. The literature review is guided by a popular political question: Can transnationalism and integration coexist, or is it a zero-sum relation?
In Chap. 8, Van Ewijk and Nijenhuis examine the link between local governments in sending and destination countries and the role of immigrant organizations in translocal connections and activities. Drawing on existing research, the chapter is guided by three interconnected questions: (i) What kinds of relations can be observed between local governments and immigrant organizations? (ii) What are the main driving factors for these relations? (iii) What is the impact of these relations on sending and receiving societies?
Focusing on sending-country policies, in Chap. 9 Østergaard-Nielsen explores the twin central questions of how and why countries of origin reach out to their expatriate populations. This is done, first, by outlining the basic concepts and typologies of sending-country policies with a particular focus on some of the key countries of origin of migrants settled within the EU and, second, by reviewing core explanations for the emergence of sending-country policies. The last part of the chapter discusses the nexus between sending-country policies and immigrants' integration.
Finally, Chap. 10 by King and Collyer looks at the relationship between migration, development, and integration. Focusing on remittances, return migration, and diaspora involvement, these authors describe analysis of the migration and development nexus as having swung between positive and negative interpretations over the seven decades of the European post-war era. Then the conceptual lens of migration and development is redefined: first by refocusing migration and return to encompass a diversity of transnational mobilities, second by reconceptualizing development as being less about economic measures and more about human wellbeing, and third by broadening the analysis of remittances from financial transfers to include social, cultural, and political elements. The final part of the chapter evaluates the relation between the migration and development frame and the integration frame. In so doing, it asks how the multifaceted process of integration impacts migrants' capacities to stimulate development in their home countries and communities. For those migrants who return or who lead multi-sited transnational lives, what challenges does integration present for their reintegration in their countries of origin?
On the basis of the main findings presented on the role of immigrants, the receiving society, and the sending countries, the concluding chapter returns to the main issues addressed by this book: (i) how is integration conceptualized and studied in Europe; (ii) how are integration policies studied, and how is the concept of integration used in policy formulation and practice; (iii) and how are new perspectives and actors incorporated in analyses of integration processes and policies. The answers to these more general questions provide us the background to understand the shift from a two-way to a three-way process approach in EU policies.
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