An on-going scientific discussion concerns whether we are presently seeing a policy convergence in integration policy in Europe. An important contribution to this discussion is the book Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe by Koopmans et al. (2005). Significantly and despite its title, this work is limited to the study of western European liberal democracies. Indeed, much of the current literature exclusively considers western liberal democracies. This project aims to rectify this imbalance. It has a much broader and – arguably – more accurate understanding of Europe. More importantly, by considering non-western EU states, an important theoretical issue that Will Kymlicka has raised can be explored: the feasibility and desirability of transferring the ‘western’ model of immigrant integration policy to the former communist states.
We aim to investigate the immigrant integration policies of seven EU member states – France, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – between 1990-2008. By using 17 indicators covering four areas (civic, socio-economic, political and cultural), we will categorise the national integration policies and EU instruments within the three existing models of integration (assimilationist, multicultural, segregationist). In addition, we examine any policy transformations in light of ‘convergence’, ’Europeanisation’ and ‘fit-misfit’, i.e. to what extent the models actually are exported.
The different disciplinary backgrounds and specialisms of the principal investigators testify for the study’s multi-disciplinary nature and for its possible broader social scientific appeal, both theoretically and methodologically. Further, our respective expertise enables us to consider such policy questions in a multi-level and comparative manner.
In terms of concrete outputs, we envisage that the project will result in a published manuscript and two – three articles in peer-reviewed journals.