Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Serdar Kaya (Simon Fraser University)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Edward Koning (University of Guelph)
Multiculturalism in Rhetoric and Practice: The Case of Muslims in the West: Serdar Kaya (Simon Fraser University) Abstract: Multiculturalist policies came under suspicion after a series of high-profile events in the late 1980s, and and early 90s, due to problems associated with the integration of non-Western immigrants into their larger societies. Reactions to multiculturalism have intensified after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and led to what some scholars refer to as a policy retreat. Others argue that the retreat is largely rhetorical, and that multiculturalist policies are still in effect. This exploratory study contributes to that debate by measuring the extent of multiculturalism in the Western world with a special focus on policies toward Islam. It draws comparisons between Western Europe and the four settler countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States), and investigates the claims to exceptionalism. Findings indicate that settler countries accommodate Islam to greater extents, but no countries seem to have distinctly inclusionary policies from others. Countries that proclaimed multiculturalism in the 1960s and 70s (e.g., Australia, Canada, the Netherlands) accommodate Islam to high extents. The study concludes with a discussion on the extent to which multiculturalist policies involve the celebration or promotion of diversity.
Qualified Inclusion: Islamic Religious Instruction as a Tool of Immigrant Integration in Germany: Phil Triadafilopoulos (University of Toronto) Abstract: After years of ignoring Islamic faith communities’ demands, several German federal states, including North Rheine Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Hessen, have introduced publicly funded religious instruction for Muslim students. My paper explores some of the disputes that have emerged during the course of introducing these programs. I am especially interested in debates over the use of Islamic religious education as a tool of immigrant integration. Whereas Catholic, Protestant and Jewish students are taught to be knowledgeable adherents of their respective faiths, religious instruction for Muslims aims at making them good Germans. This tendency reflects a more generalized fear of Islam in Germany. Paradoxically, the qualified extension of religious instruction to Muslims demonstrates just how far Germans are from recognizing that Islam is truly a part of Germany.
Taking the Next Step Toward Equality: Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration in Labour Market Support: Salta Zhumatova (University of British Columbia) Abstract: In many Western European countries, governments have increasingly accepted the strategies of enhancing equality between immigrants and EU nationals in major policy domains, such as employment support and education. While in some EU countries “equality” is limited to simple non-discrimination, i.e. provision of equal rights with EU nationals, other EU countries take the next, more advanced step towards equality by launching affirmative action policies. These policies are intended to grant immigrants special rights or support from the state to compensate for the disadvantages caused by their residence status. Do affirmative action policies have a positive impact on the labour market performance of migrants in the EU? To answer this question, I use the data from the European Social Survey, the OECD and the original policy dataset that covers both policy dimensions, equal rights and affirmative action, in employment and education, across all the EU countries. The estimates obtained from my models indicate that, if supported by strong equal rights policies, affirmative action has a positive impact on labour market integration among migrants in the EU.
Immigrants in Western Welfare States: A Systematic Comparison of Newcomers’ Social Rights: Edward Koning (University of Guelph) Abstract: A particularly thorny issue in the politics of immigration is immigrants’ access to social benefits and services. Some academics have noted that exclusion from welfare arrangements places migrants in a vulnerable and marginalized socio-economic position. Others have pointed out that granting immediate access can threaten the future persistence of welfare state arrangements, not only because of the financial costs such access would incur but also because the resentment it might trigger among the native-born population about the welfare state in general and the benefits that immigrants can make use of in particular. While immigrants’ place in welfare state systems is thus of large relevance to academics and policymakers alike, there have been few attempts to systematically compare immigrants’ social rights in different countries at different moments in time. This paper presents the results from a comparative policy analysis that maps immigrants’ access to nine different social programs, in twenty different Western democracies, at four different points in time. The main findings are twofold. First, some countries have curtailed immigrants’ access to benefits considerably over the last two decades, while other countries have moved in a more inclusionary direction. Second, and more generally, there are large differences in the extent to which different welfare states differentiate in benefit extension between immigrants and native-born citizens. These findings raise important questions about the future of social protection in an era of cross-border mobility, and enable the future investigation of the causes and consequences of different approaches to immigrants’ integration in welfare state systems.