On the Reciprocal Subordination of Multiculturalism and Migration Policies

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Multiculturalism and migration are related. Most of the forms of diversity usually debated under the heading of multiculturalism are products of migration. In Europe, ‘multiculturalism’ is normally used as a label for the fact that European societies now house significant groups of immigrant origin. On the other hand, multiculturalism and migration are about different things. Migration is about
movement of people across borders and raises political questions about state sovereignty, territorial rights, freedom of movement and needs for protection. Multiculturalism is rather about political measures for handling and accommodating diversity within a given society and raises political questions about equality, discrimination, recognition and integration. So while there are connections, multiculturalism and migration should be theorised differently and
discussed on the basis of different principles and considerations.
In this chapter, I will argue that this distinction between multiculturalism and migration nevertheless has been blurred in recent policy developments. The blurring happens in two opposite directions:
1. The so-called multiculturalism backlash, i.e. the criticism of and hostility towards multiculturalism policies supposed to ensure inclusion and fair terms of integration, has been extended also to migration: Because of hostility to diversity within the state and multiculturalism policies accommodating this diversity,
migration itself has been made an object of criticism and hostility. Migration policy has accordingly been subordinated to concerns relating to multicultural diversity.
2. Conversely, what might analogously be labelled a migration backlash, i.e. the widespread political unease about flows of migrants challenging state sovereignty and capacity, has led to increasing demands on minorities already present: they are being subjected to harsher integration requirements, lower
social benefits and more severe conditions for family-unification and naturalisation. Multiculturalism policies have accordingly been subordinated to concerns relating to migration.
In this chapter, I first present and explain the distinction between multiculturalism and migration. Then I lay out how recent empirical developments have led to a blurring of this distinction in both directions resulting in the subordination of policies in both domains to policy aims stemming from the other domain. Finally, I sketch reasons why this blurring of the multiculturalism/migration distinction can be problematic.
TitelMulticultural Governance in a Mobile World
RedaktørerAnna Triandafyllidou
Antal sider20
ForlagEdinburgh University Press
Publikationsdatookt. 2017
ISBN (Trykt)978 1 4744 2823 1, 9781474428248
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781474428255, 9781474428262
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2017


  • Multikulturalisme
  • migration
  • mangfoldighed
  • immigration
  • flygtninge
  • integration

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