Date(s) - 11/06/15 - 12/06/15
Politicologenetmaal- The Annual Conference of the Dutch and Belgian Political Science Associations, 11-12 June 2015, Maastricht University
The Contestation of Immigration, Ethnic Diversity and Citizenship
Description: In most European countries mainstream political parties and the general society seem to have accepted the fact that they have become immigration countries over the past four decades.Governments have sought to actively define and manage their immigrant population by imposing distinct entry and residence conditions for particular groups of migrants (refugees, family migrants, types of labour migrants). In many countries of destination integration policies targeted immigrants’ social wellbeing and their economic performance. A series of reforms of citizenship laws relaxed provisions on dual citizenship mainly in order to ensure the smooth integration of immigrants. European countries politically and legally adapt to ever more diverse and globalized European societies. However, immigration is not without contestation. New social movements are forming that oppose religious and ethnic diversity; populist political parties reinforce anti-immigrant attitudes. These phenomena prompt questions such as: To what extent can we observe a ‘new’ mobilization against immigration and immigrants’ rights? Are current phenomena different from the electoral success of radical right anti-immigrant parties in the 1990s and 2000s? What are the actors behind the new anti-immigrant mobilization? What vision of society do they promote? What are their alternatives to cultural and ethnic diversity? What are the political and legal responses of the EU and of national and local actors to the current wave of anti-immigrant mobilization?