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Public debates on integration and immigration in six West European countries


  • Marc Helbling


By analyzing public debates on integration and immigration and issues this paper investigates to what extent citizenship models can be considered a broader societal phenomenon. Do these models exist beyond legal regulations? Do they shape the way political actors struggle over such issues in public or are these debates transnational in nature and much more influenced by international actors and liberal norms? To answer these questions, positions and arguments of political actors in the context of various issues related to integration and immigration are investigated. Quantitative media data for the period 1999 - 2006 are used to analyze debates in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Results show that citizenship models are not reflected in national debates. On the contrary, they are very similar across countries. There is no form of direct transnationalism either: Foreign and international actors play a negligible role in national debates. However, forms of indirect transnationalism can be observed: Political actors relatively often resort to moral-universalist arguments to back their positions.

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  • Marc Helbling, 2010. "Public debates on integration and immigration in six West European countries ," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 22, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0240

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Knill, Christoph & Lehmkuhl, Dirk, 1999. "How Europe Matters. Different Mechanisms of Europeanization," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 3, June.
    2. Maarten P. Vink, 2001. "The Limited Europeanization of Domestic Citizenship Policy: Evidence from the Netherlands," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 875-896, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rainer Bauböck and Marc Helbling, 2011. "Which Indicators are Most Useful for Comparing Citizenship Policies?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 54, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).

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