Immigration Societies and the Question of ‘the National'

Tatiana Matejskova, Marco Antonsich

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The aim of the present article is to offer a reasoned argument for putting the ‘national’ back into migration studies. Scholars engaging with ethno-cultural and religious diversity have often tended to move beyond the nation-state, often treated as a site of oppression and discrimination. Urban, transnational or cosmopolitan registers have instead been put forward, often celebrated for their more progressive attitudes towards diversity. In this article, we review these claims and we also attend to the rich scholarship which, from a political philosophical perspective, has instead argued for the continuing relevance of a national ‘we’ in civic, liberal and multicultural terms. We discuss the missing points in both these strands of literature, making the case for the study of the ‘national’ as both a spatial register and a discursive resource beyond a mono-culturally tinted and essentializing idea of nation. We then conclude with a research agenda which can illuminate the ways through which the ‘national’ remains central in the shaping of contemporary diverse societies
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)495-508
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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