Since the late 1990s, “civic integration” has become the dominant immigrant integration policy in Western Europe. In this lecture, I review three debates surrounding the new policy: first, whether there is policy convergence or persistent variation along “national models” of integration; secondly, whether civic integration marks a retreat from multiculturalism, or is merely layered on resilient multiculturalism policies; and, thirdly, whether the new policy is liberal or illiberal, and whether it entails a return of assimilation. Taking position on each of these debates, I argue that civic integration converges cross-nationally with respect to policy goals and instruments, while extant variation is often incoherent or touching more the form than the substance of policy; that civic integration is national-level policy that tends to coexist with ongoing de facto multiculturalism, especially at local level; and that civic integration mostly remains in a liberal register, as it is still integration and not assimilation, which would connote forced identity change.
About the speaker:
Christian Joppke holds a chair in sociology at the University of Bern (CH). He is also a Visiting Professor in the Nationalism Studies Program at Central European University, Budapest, and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University (Denmark). He is Member of the German Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR). After earning his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, Joppke held professorial appointments at the University of Southern California, European University Institute, University of British Columbia (Vancouver), International University Bremen, and the American University of Paris. He also held visiting fellowships at Georgetown University and the Russell Sage Foundation in New York. He is the author of nine books, most recently Legal Integration of Islam (with John Torpey) (Harvard UP 2013), The Secular State Under Siege: Religion and Politics in Europe and America (Cambridge: Polity 2015), and Is Multiculturalism Dead? Crisis and Persistence in the Constitutional State (Cambridge: Polity 2017). Joppke is a leading authority in the comparative study of immigration policies, citizenship, multiculturalism, and religion.
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