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Immigration and Membership Politics in Western Europe
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Book description

Why are traditional nation-states newly defining membership and belonging? In the twenty-first century, several Western European states have attached obligatory civic integration requirements as conditions for citizenship and residence, which include language proficiency, country knowledge and value commitments for immigrants. This book examines this membership policy adoption and adaptation through both medium-N analysis and three paired comparisons to argue that while there is convergence in instruments, there is also significant divergence in policy purpose, design and outcomes. To explain this variation, this book focuses on the continuing, dynamic interaction of institutional path dependency and party politics. Through paired comparisons of Austria and Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands and France, this book illustrates how variations in these factors - as well as a variety of causal processes - produce divergent civic integration policy strategies that, ultimately, preserve and anchor national understandings of membership.


'Why do seemingly similar states formulate dramatically different integration requirements for immigrants seeking residence or citizenship? This creative study offers us a carefully crafted answer that enlightens us not only about immigration but about the general workings of policy communities in six European states. Well worth reading.'

Nancy Bermeo - University of Oxford

'This book cleverly reverses the question that most works have posed regarding new civic integration tests by focusing on divergence rather than convergence to explain why different countries have adopted different tests. Goodman’s work is comparative politics at its best: relatively large ‘N’ but also highly sensitive to local context. She identifies an issue that much of the literature has failed to notice, much less explain. This book has a good chance of becoming the standard work on the topic.'

Randall Hansen - University of Toronto

'This book argues convincingly that the new civic integration policies for immigrants in Western Europe are not all of one cut but vary in their scope, sequencing, and - above all - purpose, being restrictive in some countries but more inclusive in others. This is the most complete, methodologically elaborate, and theoretically imaginative account of civic integration that exists today. Conversation around these issues will continue at a new level with the help of this impressive work.'

Christian Joppke - Universität Bern, Switzerland

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