Immigration and the Nation-State: The United States, Germany, and Great Britain

Immigration and the Nation-State: The United States, Germany, and Great Britain

Immigration and the Nation-State: The United States, Germany, and Great Britain

Immigration and the Nation-State: The United States, Germany, and Great Britain

Synopsis

In this important and timely new study Professor Joppke compares the postwar politics of immigration control and immigrant integration in the United States, Germany, and Britain - three liberal states characterized by sharply distinct nationhood traditions and immigration experiences. Mappingout the many variations between these cases, the book focuses on the impact of immigration in the two key areas of sovereignty and citizenship. In Part 1, the author analyses the effect of immigration control on state sovereignty, arguing that liberal states are self-limited by interest-grouppluralism, autonomous legal systems, and moral obligations toward particular immigrant groups - the weight of these factors differing across particular cases. In Part 2, he addresses the ways in which immigrant integration impacts upon citizenship, arguing for the continuing relevance of nationalcitizenship for incorporating immigrants, albeit modified by nationally distinct schemes of multiculturalism. In the face of current diagnoses of nation-states weakened by the external forces of globalization and international human rights regimes and discourses, Professor Joppke demonstrates that,in relation to immigration at least, nation-states have proved remarkably resilient. Not only does this book offer an thorough, insightful examination of the immigration experiences of the USA, Germany, and Britain, it also makes a powerful contribution to the growing macro-sociological andpolitical science literature on immigration, citizenship, and the nation-state.

Excerpt

This book contributes to the growing macro-sociological and political science literature on immigration, citizenship, and the nation-state. It compares the postwar politics of immigration control and immigrant integration in the United States, Germany, and Britain, three liberal states characterized by sharply distinct nationhood traditions and immigration experiences. Besides mapping out these variations, the book focuses on the impact of immigration on two generic principles of the nation-state, sovereignty and citizenship. Regarding sovereignty, which is at stake in immigration control, I argue that liberal states are self-limited by interest-group pluralism, autonomous legal systems, and moral obligations toward particular immigrant groups, the relative weight of these factors differing across states. Regarding citizenship, which is at stake in immigrant integration, I show the continued relevance of national citizenship for incorporating immigrants, though modified by nationally distinct schemes of multiculturalism. This book thus sets a counterpoint to current diagnoses of nation-states diminished by the external forces of globalization and international human rights regimes and discourses. At least in the face of immigration, nation-states have proved remarkably resilient.

This is a synthetic work, whose point is not the discovery of new data but the broad comparison of macro-configurations that may have escaped more specialized authors writing about a particular policy, country, or period. Its spirit is 'quaterny', as Abram de Swaan characterized his In Care of the State (1988), a synthesis, across a wider comparative canvas, of smaller-scale, country-specific synthetic analyses and interpretations. The huge literature already piled up about immigration in Western states is therefore a plus, not a minus. It helped me to produce a type of argument that presupposes the empirical groundwork laid by other authors. However, whenever possible I tried to incorporate primary and secondary sources, such as records of parliamentary debates and public hearings in the forefield of important legislation, the texts of landmark court rules, the grey literature

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