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Transformation of Immigrant Integration: Civic Integration and Antidiscrimination in the Netherlands, France, and Germany

  • Christian Joppke (a1)


This article argues that, beginning in the mid-1990s, there has been a transformation of immigrant integration policies in Western Europe, away from distinct “national models” and toward convergent policies of “civic integration” for newcomers and “antidiscrimination” for settled immigrants and their descendants. This convergence is demonstrated by a least-likely case comparison of the Netherlands, France, and Germany—states that had pursued sharply different lines in the past. The author fleshes out the conflicting, even contradictory logics of antidiscrimination and civic integration and grounds them in opposite variants of liberalism, an “old” liberalism of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity and a “new” liberalism of power and disciplining, respectively.



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1 For Britain: Home Office, Secure Borders, Safe Haven (London:White Paper, 2002); for France: Cour des Comptes, L'aaueildes immigrants et I'integration despopulations issues de Immigration (Paris:Cour des Comptes, 2004) (hereafter cited as L'aaueil des immigrants); for Germany: Kom-mission, Sussmuth, Zuwanderung gestalten, Integration fordern (Berlin:Federal Ministry of the Interior, 2001) (hereafter cited as Zuioanderung gestalten); and for the Netherlands: Kamer, Tweede, Bruggen bouwen, Eindrapport Onderzoek Integratiebeleid (The Hague:Kamerstuk 28689, no. 9, 2003-4).

2 See Steinmo, Sven, Thelen, Kathleen, and Longstreth, Frank, eds., Structuring Politics (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1992); Pierson, Paul, “Increasing Returns, Path Dependence and the Study of Politics,” American Political Science Review 94, no. 2 (2000).

3 For a classic statement stressing cultural traditions, see Brubaker, Rogers, Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge:Harvard University Press, 1992). For a combination of culturalist and path-dependency reasoning, see Favell, Adrian, Philosophies of Integration (London:Macmillan, 1998). And for a pure path-dependency argument, see Hansen, Randall, “Globalisation, Embedded Realism, and Path Dependence,” Comparative Political Studies 35, no. 4 (2002).

4 Most recently, and with great sophistication, Koopmans, Ruud, Statham, Paul, Giugni, Marco, and Passy, Florence, Contested Citizenship (Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press, 2005).

5 King, Gary, Keohane, Robert O., and Verba, Sidney, Designing Social Inquiry (Princeton:Princeton University Press, 1994), 209210.

6 For a sharp critique of this policy, see Patrick Weil, “Pour une nouvelle politique d'immigration,” Esprit 20 {19%).

7 See Joppke, Christian, “Why Liberal States Accept Unwanted Immigration,” World Politics 50 (January 1998).

8 See Shachar, Ayelet, “The Race for Talent,” New York University Law Review 81 (2006).

9 See Barraclough, Geoffrey, An Introduction to Contemporary History (Harmondsworth:Penguin, 1967), 8082.

10 Ferguson, Niall, “Eurabia?” New York Times Magazine, April 4, 2004, 13.

11 The Economist, August 24,2002, 22.

12 In EU jargon, this is the “Lisbon strategy” (as if any “strategy” could ever achieve that much), formulated at the EU summit in Lisbon in March 2000.

13 Council of the European Union, Immigrant Integration Policy in the European Union (Brussels: November 19, 2004), 14615/04 (Presse 321) (henceforth cited as Immigrant Integration Policy in the European Union).

14 L'accueil des immigrants (fn. 1), 17.

15 Immigrant Integration Policy in the European Union (fn. 13).

16 Ibid.

17 For the constitutionalization of alien rights, see Elia Marzal, “Constitutionalising Immigration Law: The Reformulation of the Rigths of Aliens by the Courts in Germany, France and Spain” (Ph.D. diss., Department of Law, European University Institute, 2004). The motif of incremental rights, for instance, is invoked in the European Commission “communication” to the Council ofJune 3, 2003, which prepared the ground for the November 2004 Council conclusions on “common principles” of European integration policy. See European Commission, Communication on Immigration, Integration and Employment (Brussels: June 3, 2003), COM (2002) 336 final.

18 In my view, the immediate availability of permanent settlement rights in the classic immigrant nations and the general absence of such rights in Europe overrides, for instance, the important internal distinctions between the “contract,” “affiliation,” and “transition” models in U.S. immigration law as unraveled by Motomura, Hiroshi, Americans in Waiting (New York:Oxford University Press, 2006).

19 King, Desmond, In the Name of Liberalism (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1999), 18.

20 In this King's approach differs from Rogers Smith's well-known “multiple traditions” approach, in which liberalism is tightly separated from nonliberal traditions (in America) such as “ascriptive Americanism.” See Smith, , “Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hurtz,” American Political Science Review 87, no. 3 (1993).

21 King (fn. 19), 8.

22 See Ruud Koopmans, “The Failure of Dutch Multiculturalism in Cross-National Perspective” (Paper presented at the conference “Immigrant Political Incorporation,” Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, April 22–23,2005).

23 der Velde, Sandrine Musso-van, “Immigrant Integration Policy: The Case of the Netherlands” (Manuscript, Dutch Justice Ministry, The Hague, 2005).

24 Migration News Sheet, July 2005, 26.

25 Michalowski, Ines, “Integration Programmes for Newcomers: A Dutch Model for Europe?” IMIS-Beitrage no. 24 (2004).

26 See the brief discussion of the “Dutch example” in Haut Conseil a l'integration, Les parcours d'integration (Paris:La documentation francaise, 2001), 4748.

27 Ibid.

28 Le Figaro, May 19, 2004.

29 Uaccued des immigrants (fn. 1), 125.

30 For more detail, see Joppke, Christian, “Beyond National Models: Civic Integration Policies for Immigrants in Western Europe,” West European Politics 30, no. 1 (2007), 12.

31 Le Figaro, September 27, 2004.

32 Lochak, Daniele, “L'integration, alibi de la precarisation,” Plein Droit, no. 59–60 (2004), 4.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Zwwanderunggestalten (fn. 1), 260.

36 Malamud, D., “Discrimination,” International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Amsterdam:Elsevier, 2001).

37 Nationality-based distinctions that are not within the ambit of immigration policy are differently developed across states and sometimes even across sectors within the same state. In cross-national perspective, for example, in the Netherlands public sector employment is widely accessible to non-Dutch citizens, while in France and Germany this is reserved for citizens, even in areas that are not at all related to sovereignty functions (exempt from this, of course, are European Union citizens, according to Article 12 of the EC Treaty). In France, one-fourth of professional jobs are foreclosed to foreigners, including employment in public sector companies like Air France, EDF, or SNCF. Such exclusion is increasingly branded as “discriminatory”; Haut Conseil a l'integration, Lutte contre les discriminations (Paris:La documentation francaise, 1998), 9496. In cross-sectional perspective, France, while a laggard with respect to public sector employment, has removed all nationality-based distinctions in social protection, as commanded by Convention No. 118 of the International Labor Organisation (Haut Conseil, 15–23).

38 See the masterful study by Skrentny, John, The Minority Rights Revolution (Cambridge:Harvard University Press, 2002).

39 Wieviorka, Michel, “Faut-il en finir avec la notion d'intégration?” Les cahiers de la se'curiti inte'ri-eure no. 45, third trimester (2001).

40 Quoted in Calvés, Gwénaële, Renouvellement demographique de lafunctionpublique de I'Etat (Paris:La documentation francaise, 2005), 281.

41 Tribalat, Michéle, Faire France (Paris:La Decouverte, 1995), 216.

42 Ibid., 172–82.

43 Tribalat, Michele, De I'immigration a Fassimilation (Paris:La Decouverte, 1996).

44 See the highly informative study by Guiraudon, Virginie, “Construire une politique europeenne de lutte contre les discriminations,” Societes contemporaines 53 (January 2004).

45 However, further attempts by promigrant activists to include “nationality” as proscribed discrimination within the Race Directive were rebutted, and in two places the nonapplicability of “equal treatment” to the domain of immigration policy is affirmed (Paragraph 13 of the preamble, and Article 3.2). See Tyson, Adam, “The Negotiation of the European Community Directive on Racial Discrimination,” EuropeanJournal of Migration and Law 3, no. 2 (2001), 209–10.

46 Guiraudon (fn. 44), 24.

47 Nicely observed by Guiraudon (fn. 44), 25.

48 Bleich, Erik, Race Politics in Britain and France (New York:Cambridge University Press, 2003), 913.

49 In France, the annual number of proven cases of discrimination in employment was just 74 in 1995 and 81 in 1996, while in Britain the respective figure was about 2000 per year. See Haut Conseil a l'intégration (fn. 37), 96.

50 Bleich (fn. 48).

51 Isabelle Chopin, “Possible Harmonisation of Anti-Discrimination Legislation in the European Union,” EuropeanJournal ofMigration and Law 2, no. 3–4 (2001), 419.

52 Council Directive 2000/43/EC ofJune 29,2000, implementing the principle of equal treatment of persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (Article 2.2.a quoted).

53 401 U.S. 424 (1971)

54 See, for instance, European Commission, Promoting Diversity (Brussels:DG4 Employment and Social Affairs, 2002).

55 438 U.S. 265 (1978), at 786. The 2003 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Grutterv. Bollinger [539 U.S. 306 (2003)] has given even more prominence to diversity as a legitimate goal.

56 Mark Bell, “EU Anti-Discrimination Law” (Ph.D. diss., Department of Law, European University Institute, 2002), 200.

57 Ibid., 201.

58 The Dutch notion of allochtonen includes foreign (non-EU) migrants, as well as Dutch citizens with at least one foreign-born (non-EU) parent.

59 See Folke Glastra, Petra Schedler, and Kats, Erik, “Employment Equity Policies in Canada and the Netherlands,” Policy and Politics 26, no. 2 (1998), 168–71.

60 Ibid., 170.

61 Quoted in Calves, Gwénaële, “II n'y a pas de race ici,” Critique Internationale, no. 17 (2002), 174.

62 Quoted from the fifteenth “whereas” of the Race Directive (see fn. 52). A previous attempt to neutralize the group-building effect of “indirect discrimination” had been to define the latter as one that “by nature” (par sa nature) discriminates, which would remove attention from “effects” to be measured. See Marie-Therese Lanquetin, “Le principe de non-discrimination,” Droit Ouvrier (May 2001), 192.

63 Calves (fn. 61), 182.

64 Fassin, Didier, “L'invention francaise de la discrimination,” Revuefrancaise de sciencepolitique 52, no. 4 (2002).

65 Haut Conseil a l'integration (fn. 37).

66 Ibid., 111–14.

67 Hargreaves, Alec, “Half-Measures: Antidiscrimination Policy in France,” French Politics, Culture and Society 18, no. 3 (2000), 83.

68 Calves (fn. 40), chap. 3.

69 See Simon, Patrick, “Les jeunes issus de I'immigration se cachent pour vieillir,” VEI enjeux, no. 121 (2000).

70 L'Express, January 19, 2004.

71 Minister for Social Affairs, Work, and Solidarity Francois Fillon, quoted in Les Echos, December 9, 2003.

72 Liberation, October 5,2004.

73 Gabizon, Celia, “Le gouvernement mobilise contre les discriminations,” Le Figaro, February 4, 2005.

74 Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Umsetzung europdischer Antidiskriminierungsrichtlinien, http://www.,,4395,00.pdf., 48 (last accessed April 6, 2007).

75 Volker Beck (The Greens), Deutscher Bundestag, Plenarprotokoll 15152, 152. Sitzung, Berlin, January 21, 2005.

76 See Favell (fn. 3).

77 The implementation that was finally passed in June 2006 by the current CDU-SPD government under the euphemism of “Equal Treatment Law” (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz) has been widely criticized for not fulfilling the EU directive in important respects; Suddeutsche Zeitung, June 30,2006,18.

78 EC law requires comprehensive protection (including not just race and ethnicity but also religion, ideology, handicap, age, sexual orientation, and sex) only in labor law; in civil law, protection is limited to race and ethnicity. The German “horizontal solution” to discrimination goes beyond EC law in offering comprehensive protection in civil law, too. See Matthias Mahlmann, “Stellungnahme,” Deutscher Bundestag: Ausschussfur Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, A.-Drs. 15(12)440-F, 2005, 3f.

79 Olaf Scholz (SPD), Deutscher Bundestag (fn. 75).

80 Christel Humme (SPD), Deutscher Bundestag (fn. 75).

81 Norbert Rottgen (CDU/CSU), Deutscher Bundestag (fh. 75).

82 Picker, Eduard, “Die neue Moral im Zivilrecht,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 7, 2003

83 Siiddeutsche Zeitung, April 9, 2002.

84 Norbert Rottgen (CDU/CSU), Deutscher Bundestag (fn. 75).

85 For a representative statement, see Rose, Nicolas, Powers of Freedom (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1999). Equally relevant in this context, though entirely unimpressed by Foucault, is King (fn. 19).

86 For workfare policies, see Handler, Joel, Social Citizenship and Workfare in the United States and Western Europe (New York:Cambridge University Press, 2004).

87 Mill, , On Liberty (1859; London: Penguin, 1974), 69.

88 For the particularly drastic case of the Netherlands, and for reference to comparative European rates of unemployment and labor-market participation, see Koopmans (fn. 22).

89 For its roots in the “third way” ideology of reconstructed socialist parties, most notably Britain's “New Labour,” see Ruth Levitas, The Inclusive Society1? Social Exclusion andNew Labour, 2nd ed. (Bas-ingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005).

90 Eberhard Eichenhofer, Deutscher Bundestag: Ausschussfur Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, A.-Drs. 15 (12) 440–1, 2005, 2, emphasis added.

91 Collins, Hugh, “Discrimination, Equality and Social Inclusion,” Modern Law Review 66, no. 1 (2003), 25.

92 Ibid., 22.

93 An example is Levitas (fn. 89).

94 This is the interesting argument by Collins (fn. 91).

95 Berlin, Isaiah, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” in Berlin, I., Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1969), 170–71.

96 Hobbes, Thomas, The Leviathan (1660; Oxford:Blackwell, 1946), chap. 21.

97 Berlin (fn. 95).

98 Le Monde, March, 11–12, 2007, 9.

99 See Joppke, Christian, Selecting by Origin: Ethnic Migration in the Liberal State (Cambridge:Harvard University Press, 2005).

100 See Skrentny (fn. 38).

101 See the interview with Eric Fassin in Le Monde, March 4–5, 2007,15.

102 Glazer, Nathan, “Multiculturalism and American Exceptionalism,” in Joppke, Christian and Lukes, Steven, eds., Multicultural Questions (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1999), 190.

103 Favell (fn. 3).

104 “Australian Citizenship: Much More than a Ceremony” (Discussion paper, Canberra, Australian Government, September 2006).

* I acknowledge helpful suggestions from three anonymous reviewers for this journal.

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