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National Modes of Immigrant Integration: How can They be Conceptualized and Described? -- Friedrich Heckmann

National Modes of Immigrant Integration

How can They be Conceptualized

and Described ?


Friedrich Heckmann

eurp‰isches forum f¸r migrationsstudien (efms)

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Managing Migration in the 21st Century

The Future of Labor Migration in Asia

Comparative Immigration and Integration Program

Fall Workshop, Oct. 9- 10, 1998

University of California, Davis









Preliminary Version, not to Quote

1. Introduction

There seems to be agreement both in Europe and the US on two major elements of migration policy: effective limitation of immigration and - simultaneously - effective integration of those who immigrated. Concerning the effectiveness of the integration of immigrants there is a broad international debate in which different national Ñstrategies" or Ñpatterns" or Ñmodels" of immigrant integration are compared. A French republican assimilationist model for instance is compared with a Dutch or British multicultural model or strategy of immigrant integration.

The tropic of my paper which is more a report of work in progress, has arisen from the EFFNATIS project, an EU financed project. The project wants to describe and measure the effectiveness of such national integration Ñstrategies" towards 2nd generation migrants in Europe, comparing in particular France, Germany and Great Britain. As part of its work the project has to describe these different strategies and policies. My paper intends to discuss ways how to conceptualize and describe such rational integration policies. The question is: How can we describe integration policies in standardized and comparable ways?

On the basis of that analysis it should be possible to speak more precisely about differences and similarities of the different national policies. Another part of our research which I cannot talk about here is concerned with the empirical assessment of the effectiveness of the different national integration Ñstrategies".

The term Ñintegration strategy" that we used in the research proposal and which is still in the title of the project was derived from and developed in the context of the TSER program. This EU research funding program is interested in research concerning integration strategies toward different social groups, for example youth, the unemployed or ethnic and immigrant minorities. After the first eight months of national integration policy research I find the term Ñstrategy" that we took up from the EU-TSER Program more and more problematic. ÑStrategy" implies planning and consistency. National strategy would imply such conscious planning, consistency, systematic and goal minded action on a national scale and on different levels of national organization. In that strict sense, I believe, national integration strategies toward migrants, particularly 2nd generation migrants that we are interested in, do not exist.

ÑNational strategy" is unlikely for another reason: migration and integration policies often are in the center of political battles. Content and direction of migration and integration policies are changing according to the political climate in the society and according to power relations. Still, it seems that integration policy is not without some consistency, without some common characteristics on a national level, even if often not consciously organized.

As a consequence of the above arguments I suggested to substitute the term Ñnational mode of integration" for Ñnational integration strategy". Mode of integration is defined in a rather broad way: the totality of policies and measures affecting the integration of a migrant population. It is not limited to measures consciously devised and executed for the purpose of immigrant integration by different actors. On the other hand, the concept does not include the effects of Ñpositive" or Ñnegative" external influences - like a change in relations between the immigrant and emigrant countries - or the influences of the state of the economy and of the labor market. Neither does it include influences stemming from the migrant communities themselves.

Integration mode encompasses those policies and measures that are resulting from the Ñnormal ways" in which a society regulates integration and from general socio-structural principles (Ñsocial order"). Such a general principle would be, for instance, ÑSoziale Marktwirtschaft" in Germany as a certain type of Ñwelfare state" organization and Ñwelfare state" policies. Since migrants are generally included in such state measures and programs - like for instance in education or in housing policy - integration Ñjust happens" without being labeled as such. This is what Thomas Hammer (1985) calls indirect integration policy, as compared to direct integration policy in the sense of specific measures for the immigrants. This is the most relevant kind of integration policy. Another example for a general principle would be the ÑRepublican Credo" in the case of France that affects state policies including immigrant integration.

As an important element of integration mode I would also include the basic political definition of the immigration and integration situation. The basic societal definition of a social phenomenon constitutes fundamental ways of thinking and acting about this social phenomenon. Take the example relating to the official definition of the situation in Germany: the factual immigration situation has so far Ñofficially" not been recognized and defined as such. This shades serious doubts on the legitimacy of the Ñpresence" of migrants in the receiving society. And this lack of an official definition of the situation has serious implications for defining their legal status. To speak in a more general way: It does make a difference whether the relations between migrants and nonmigrants are definded in terms of Ñrace relations" as seems to the case in Britain, as ÑAusl‰nderprobleme" in Germany or as social problems within the French population like in France.

Summing up, mode of integration is understood

as policies and measures resulting from general socio-structural principles of societal integration,
as the intentionally and consciously devised policies and measures for the integration of immigrants,
as policies and measures resulting from the political definition of the immigration situation.
It includes measures and policies that are directed generally towards natives and migrants as well as those that are especially designed for migrants.

2. Dimensions of the integration process

Immigrant integration refers to the inclusion of new populations into existing social structures and to the kind and quality of connecting these new populations to the existing system of socio-economic, legal and cultural relations. It is a complex, multilevel process. That is why integration and integration policies cannot be meaningfully analyzed in a general and summarized way. Building upon concepts of Milton Gordon (1964) and Hartmut Esser (1990) the EFFANTIS project differentiates between four major dimensions of the integration process:

structural integration; the acquisition of rights and the access to positions and statuses by the immigrants;
cultural integration or acculturation; cognitive, cultural, behavioral and attitudinal change of immigrants, but also of natives;
social integration; development of personal relations and group memberships with native people;
identificational integration; formation of feelings of belonging and identity in relation to the immigration society.

A conceptual framework for the analysis of national modes of immigrant integration can be gained by looking at different policies as they are directed towards and/or affect the four dimensions of integration. Thus, as a next step, different kinds of integration policies should be conceptually proposed. The first kind of policy to be analysed is the general modes of integration by the nation state which affect all people living in a particular society including immigrants. After that measures designed particularly for immigrants can be looked at.

3. General modes of integration

Ñ... migrants and their children living in a new society are in many cases affected by its general modes of integration as everyone else. As Dominique Schnapper (1991, 81) puts it, every nation state has general institutions which aim at the integration of society as a whole. Thomas Hammer (1985, 265-266) called this mode of integration 'indirect immigrant policies' because they 'are intended to affect all members of the community, including immigrants' " (Mahnig 1998, 3). The implication of the argument is, among others, that this is the most important kind of immigrant integration policy, provided migrants are included in them. Another implication is that if there are important general differences or similarities between general modes of societal integration they should show up in the integration of immigrants as well.

Basic principles of this general mode of integration policy in Germany would be soziale Marktwirtschaft as a particular kind of welfare state integration, corporatism as participation of relevant corporate actors in major societal decision making and federalism with high degrees of autonomy for single states and cities.

4. Special policies of migrants integration

Ñ ... in all European countries where considerable immigration took place after World War II the presence of migrants was perceived at various periods as a 'problem': the 'question of migration' was put on the political agenda and policy makers developed answers to the issue ... the large bulk of programs have been developed after the international oil crisis in 1973" (Mahnig 1998, 3/4). The end of active labor recruitment was followed by a period of family reunion which posed unexpected challenges for immigrant integration. In the 90s we have entered into a phase in Europe where a new discussion on new integration policies is coming up. We'll say more about this later in the context of what we call equality promoting policies.

I suggest to differentiate between three types of special or new immigrant integration policies:

Creation of new institutions: particularly with family reunion and a progressing settlement process new institutions were created. Examples are: Ausl‰nderbeir‰te, immigrant services by welfare organizations, mother - tongue afternoon schools. Very recent examples would be the creation of an integration administration in Sweden or the institutionalization of obligatory integration courses in the Netherlands.

Strengthening of general integration agencies: The existing general integration institutions of the society come under pressure from a new type of clientel and from an increasing number of people who demand their services. The new demands are met by enlarging and strengthening the resources of an institution.

Equality promoting policies: In many instances the policies discussed so far do not seem to be sufficiently effective for a Ñfull integration" of the migrant populations. That is why a discourse and a practice have evolved in Europe which I would suggest to call equality promoting policies. We have here a clear parallel development to the case of gender equality policies.

I would like to differentiate between three kinds of equality promoting policies:

- anti-discrimination policies;

- equal opportunity policies;

- affirmative action policies.

Anti-discrimination measures, including laws, aim at direct and indirect forms of individual discrimination. Equal opportunity policies are measures to support disadvantaged groups of people to improve their competiteveness in society. Affirmative action type of policies - if one leaves out all Ñsoft forms" of affirmative action - means preferential treatment of hithen to Ñunjustly" treated groups.

5. A conceptual frame for the analysis of national integration modes

It is now possible to arrive at a conceptual frame for the analysis of national integration modes by combining types of integration policies with the dimensions of the integration process in a matrix. We have four dimensions of integration and one plus three types of integration policies and arrive at 16 theoretical types of integration policies (see Table 1). By going through these different types for single or several countries we shall be able to differentially and exactly describe and compare national integration modes of different countries. Particular patterns of national integration modes should result from this analysis.

Table 1: Types of Immigrant Integration Policies
Dimension of Integration policies
integration General mode Special policies
of nation state integration Creation of new institutions Strengthening general institutions Equality promoting policies
structural 1 5 9 13
cultural 2 6 10 14
social 3 7 11 15
identificative 4 8 12 16

6. Applying the conceptual frame for a comparison of integration modes in Germany and France

In the following part I shall begin to look at and compare different types of integration policies in Germany and France. No complete analysis of all 16 types of course can be presented. Due to restrictions of space and time and the unfinished character of our work I shall discuss types 1, 4, 7, 9 and will make a few remarks about types 13 - 14. I start with general integration policy.

Type 1, the general mode of nation state structural integration, is the Ñnormal" policy of the modern nation state for the integration of its people as it affects natives and immigrants. We shall look at the legal, educational and occupational qualifying aspects of structural integration as they affect 2nd generation migrants.

Legal membership in the state community, that is citizenship or legal integration is the basis for general integration in state and society. We have learned from Marshal (1950) that in the past the extension and expansion of citizenship and the achievement of civil, political and social rights has been the major integrating Ñmechanism" of conflict-ridden capitalist class society. The inclusion into citizenship - at first applied in Europe for working class integration - thus is a very basic, traditional integrating Ñmechanism" with a long history of success.

Coming now to a comparison of citizenship policies of France and Germany I start with Germany. The ethnic principle of citizenship which is the German tradition has proven to be a major obstacle to the legal integration of migrants. As a consequence of this principle Ñreal" membership in the society by being born, being educated and living and working in that society and legal membership and the rights and obligations connected with that status don't go together. Naturalization of non ethnic Germans has been looked upon and traditionally treated as an exception and has been statistically very low.

In this area of legal integration of migrants the Federal Government is the major political actor. It has in the past mainly acted in line with the German tradition. For the rather (exceptional) case of naturalization of foreigners it is guided by the principle that naturalization should be the end and the completion of an integration process as a whole, not an instrument of integration or a step in this process (Bundesministerium des Inneren 1997, 54).

Many authors have written about citizenship in Germany in the 1990s. I feel that very often rather stereotypical arguments are dominating the discussion. What is overlooked is the fact that the concept of nation as the basis for the concept of citizenship is not static, but changes and develops historically. Ever since the end of World War II and the foundation of the Federal Republic the concept of nation and of German nation have been under pressure to change from an ethnic concept to a more political concept. A new kind of national consciousness has evolved in the society which has as its center notions of having built new democratic political structures and of being economically successful (Mommsen 1990, 272).

The active legal integration policies of some federal states within the existing law that are noticeable in the national statistics are in line with these developments. But the Federal Government has made an important step as well and changed the citizenship clauses in the foreigners' law in 1991 and 1993. A right for naturalization has been given to foreigners aged 16 to 23 who have been brought up and educated in Germany and who do not have a criminal record. In terms of the philosophy of citizenship these changes mean that the close connection between ethnic belonging and citizenship has been loosened.

France has a very different tradition of naturalization policies compared to Germany. Traditionally, citizenship is looked upon as an instrument of integration into the nation. I only mention the ius soli tradition in France compared to the ius sanguinis principle in Germany. What is interesting is that the reform of citizenship laws in 1993 means a partial withdrawal from the ius soli tradition (Heckmann and Tomei 1997, 45). In that sense, - Germany Ñopening-up" citizenship somewhat and France introducing more restrictive measures - the two countries are actually approaching one another.

Another aspect of structural integration is educational integration. It is important here that in both countries the regular school systems are open to immigrant children. The main public socializing agency does not differentiate between migrants and natives.

Many studies in Germany have shown the significance of pre-school attendance for immigrant integration (Esser 1990). Different form France there is no obligation for pre-school attendance in Germany. Regarding school policies, differences exist due to the strong federal structures within Germany among the different countries, whereas greater centralization is characteristic of the French school system. The self-concept of the French school system is clearly and openly one of nation building. In Germany acculturating immigrants is part of what I would like to call the latent curriculum of schools.

On the whole regarding immigrant integration, similarities between the German and French educational systems and the role they play for immigrant integration are stronger than differences. Both are the main bodies of public socialization and acculturation, both give access to natives and migrants and both play a central role in the distribution of life chances for individuals and groups.

Integration onto the occupational training system is our next point.When comparing integration policies of several European countries in 1990 Enzinger wrote: in Germany Ñspecial efforts have been made to attract more second generation youth to apprenticeships" (Entzinger 1990, 13). These efforts are of particular relevance since the so-called dual system of occupational qualification is the dominant qualification system for non-academic jobs. The efforts to increase the number of apprenticeships were and are made in a corporate arrangement. ÑSince the early 1970s state representatives, unions and employers have cooperated to regulate issues such as the number of apprenticeship occupations, pay rates, and revisions of curricula ... The strength of the corporate arrangement is that it has coped rather successfully with the undersupply of training slots in the dual system from the late 1970s until the mind-1980s" (Faist 1993, 317). Similar efforts have been made since then up to the present, with a lot of initiatives at the local and regional level, as our expert interviews tell.

For those young people who have failed to find an apprenticeship there is a complex and very large system of measures to increase chances of getting a position lateron or of substitutive measures. Within this general system there are some measures that are particularly designed for 2nd generation migrants, for example language courses, but the large majority of measures is designed for Ñdisadvantaged youth" (programs to get a basic education diploma, ÑBerufsvorbereitungsjahr", ÑAusbildungsvorbereitende Ma_nahmen der Bundesanstalt f¸r Arbeit", ÑBerufsgrundschuljahr", Berufsfachschulen).

The occupational training system in France is very different from Germany. Apprenticeship and dual system qualifications play a very minor role. The general system of occupational qualification is a public school system. In opposition to Germany inclusion into the occupational training system is not a problem. But transition into the labor market is a high hurdle for both natives and 2nd generation.

Referring to table 1 the next type chosen for a brief analysis is type 4. This type of integration policy includes a variety of practices to arrive at subjective feelings of belonging to the nation and nation state. Political socialization, the learning and internalization of symbols and the development of particular emotions can be given as examples of general nation state policies to achieve identificative integration within the population.

In Germany, leaving aside new developments of the nation concept that we mentioned earlier, the dominant tendency to define national belonging has still been via common ethnicity. This, of course, is exclusive toward the foreign migrants. What is more: The continuing official denial of the de facto immigration situation in Germany (ÑGermany is not an immigration country") - at least until the recent federal elections - seem to be regarded by the immigrants, as our prestudy suggests, as a continuous denial of the legitimacy of the Ñpresence of foreigners" in the country. This is not an invitation for identification.

The naturalization policy of the past Federal Government has reinforced that view. Citizenship is a legal relationship, but has strong emotional and identificational implications as well. The reforms of 1991 an 1993 in naturalization policy makes the acquisition of citizenship easier for 2nd generation migrants, but the reforms do not seem to be courageous enough to be regarded by young migrants as an invitation to identify with Germany. What is lacking is a model of national belonging, a model of becoming and being a German that is based on continuously living and working there and thus could include migrants as well.

There has been, however, no consistency in identificative integration policies. The line that we have described is that of the Federal Government. Some federal states, urban communities, welfare organizations, churches and NGO's are actively leading campaigns for an increase in naturalization rates. The Federal Government and the Bundestag, however, have most authority and influence in this area. Even in the last Bundestag there was a majority for a change in naturalization rules, but Ñcoalition arithmetics" hindered this majority to come through.

The general model of societal integration in France is that of republican assimilation. It is based on acculturation into the French cultural and political life and not on ethnicity, and is open to migrants. Immigrants are invited - and sometimes pressured - to identify as French. In Germany, it seems, immigrants are even discouraged to identify as Germans. Recently, Michael Glos, the Christian-Social-Union parliamentary leader, spoke contemp tously of so-called ÑNeo-Deutsche", others speak of Ñforeigners with a German passport".

In the following part I will discuss examples of special immigrant integration policies. I take type 7 as an example.

Type 7 refers to policies of newly created institutions and organizations in relation to the development of positive personal social relations between natives and immigrants, Ñintercultural relations", and to the increase of immigrant membership in associations. The reduction of prejudice and discrimination in every day life is part of this work.

Newly created institutions in Germany, whose activities are mainly centered in the area of social integration, are Ausl‰nderbeir‰te (so called foreigners' councils) and Aus-l‰nderbeauftragte (foreigners' commissioners). Other large institutions created new departments that are concerned with social integration: welfare organizations, churches, and unions, for instance. In addition, a lot of NGO's were founded whose activities center around social integration.

Since the French homogenizing nation building philosophy is against the formation of special ethnic groups in society large activities to improve Ñgroup relations" cannot be expected in France. ÑAusl‰nderbeir‰te" or -in British terminology- Ñrace-relations-councils" on all levels of society do not exist. An exception to the rule is the NGO ÑSOS Racisme" which works against racist and anti-immigrant tendencies.

Concluding, a few remarks about type 9 and types 13 - 16.

Type 9 represents a policy in the area of structural integration which strengthens institutions that have to do with a new type of clientel, immigrants. In Germany schools receive funds and personel to prepare foreign-language children for taking part in regular classes. The Federal Labor Office receives additional money for training migrant youth.

In France, that generally despises special groups' policies, Ñzones d'education prioritaires" (ZEP) are installed which serve to give special funds for schools with a very high proportion of immigrant children. But this is seen as a clear exception. Our project partners in EFFNATIS are eager to point out that this program is not really meant for immigrants, but then Ñconfess" that a 30% migrants' rate in a school is one criterion of receiving these special funds: ÑThe ZEP policy is not plainly intended to educational establishments which receive children of international migrants: one only notes that the latter are statistically overrepresented in these schools, but the main criterion for receiving grants, supplementary staff or teaching hours are social and economic, not ethnic, racial or cultural. However, another criterion is to receive more than 30% children of international migrants." (Schnapper, Peignard and Krief 1998, 8).

A few final remarks about some aspects of categories 13 - 16 of table 1. They concern anti-discrimination, equality of opportunity and affirmative action policies as they relate to the different dimensions of integration. The discussion and partial application of these policies with regard to immigrants has only begun rather recently in Europe.

Anti-discrimination policies are foreseen by ß 6a of the Amsterdam treaty as a norm of future policies, but have - as effective law - played only a minor role in the past. In Germany, the political discourse on anti-discrimination laws is in a starting phase. Still, one effective measure against discrimination in car insurance was taken (vgl. Beauftragte der Bundesregierung 1997, 108).

Very recently (Sept. 14/15, 1998) an EU sponsored conference on the applicability of affirmative action in Europe took place in the University of Innsbruck. There are no such policies in France and Germany. Affirmative action, if applied, is for citizens. Since citizenship is still more the exception than the rule among immigrants in Germany affirmative action policies go much beyond the most important conditions of structural integration. And in France, concepts like preferential treatment of certain groups are in total opposition to the universal model of republican integration.

7. Tentative Conclusions

As to the relevance of general nation state integration vs. special immigrant integration policies it seems safe to say that the inclusion of immigrants into general integration is for more relevant for their integration than special policies.

Degrees of consistency to be found in national modes of integration result from the inclusion of immigrants into the general national integration policies which have some stability over time.

Regarding national comparisons between Germany and France against the image of very different national modes of integration it looks like similarities are outweighing differences. Similarities stem from the character of both states as welfare states.

Still there are differences: for France immigrant integration is almost synonymous with general nation state integration. Compared to that special policies have a greater weight in Germany.

Differences that seem to be quite important for immigrant consciousness formation can be found in identificative integration policies between Germany and France. In our empirical study of 2nd generation migrants we expect a greater tendency among immigrants in France to identify with their country of immigration than in Germany.


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