This article deals with the civic integration of migrants, focusing on the process immigrants undergo to become nationals of new states. Discussing some recent advances in immigration policies in European Union countries, it questions the gap that separates their normative principles from institutional practices. Many existing citizens would not meet the administrative requirements imposed on migrants to gain legal residence and nationality. Furthermore, the experience of non-nationals living in Europe suggests that integration challenges remain, well after naturalisation is achieved, as new citizens face ongoing discriminatory burdens at various levels, including the labour market and politics. Part of an ongoing study on the civic condition of migrants, the article argues that a liberal approach to immigrant integration should not cease with the granting of citizenship. It should address the urgent task of protecting new citizens from discrimination that impairs their rights in practice.
An Essay on the Political Condition of Migrants
José María Rosales
Organized Hypocrisy, Solidarity, and Mounting Protest
Tiziana Caponio and Teresa Cappiali
In 2016, migration issues in Italy became synonymous with the “refugee crisis.” Dramatic images of boat people, rescues, and the deaths of thousands of people in the Mediterranean Sea have catalyzed public attention. Examining the Italian government’s responses, we argue that the “refugee crisis” is the result of an “organized hypocrisy” aimed at containing, rather than managing, the crisis and at gaining access to international protection. Structuring the immigrant reception system on the opposition between humanitarian and economic migrants, Italian policies struggle to offer adequate responses to current mixed flows. Furthermore, this system often has a negative impact on local communities, where we find diversified responses that range from solidarity to opposition and, more recently, the emergence of a “reception market.” Additionally, our analysis suggests that the dysfunctional nature of the Italian reception system, combined with alarmist attitudes promulgated by the media, amplifies discomfort and contributes to an increase in public hostility toward immigrants.
Montserratian Migrants' Experiences of Global Processes in British Methodism
Migrants to Europe often perceive themselves as entering a secular society that threatens their religious identities and practices. Whilst some sociological models present their responses in terms of cultural defence, ethnographic analysis reveals a more complex picture of interaction with local contexts. This essay draws upon ethnographic research to explore a relatively neglected situation in migration studies, namely the interactions between distinct migration cohorts - in this case, from the Caribbean island of Montserrat, as examined through their experiences in London Methodist churches. It employs the ideas of Weber and Bourdieu to view these migrants as 'religious carriers', as collective and individual embodiments of religious dispositions and of those socio-cultural processes through which their religion is reproduced. Whilst the strategies of the cohort migrating after the Second World War were restricted through their marginalised social status and experience of racism, the recent cohort of evacuees fleeing volcanic eruptions has had greater scope for strategies which combat secularisation and fading Methodist identity.
Refugees, Migrants, and Tourists in Dharamshala (India)
This case study of Dharamshala (India), a community that emerged as an outcome of mobility just a few decades ago and is constantly fueled by refugees, migrants, and tourists, aims to challenge the conceptual boundary between a receiving society and mobile Others, and to pose questions about community making in the context of postcolonial mobility. The history of Dharamshala reflects both the legacy of colonialism and the modern processes of mobility in postcolonial Asia. The town’s highly fluid and heterogeneous community consists of people of different nationalities, ethnicities, religions, and castes from Tibet, Nepal, the Global North, and various Indian states. Most are seasonal migrants attracted by the success of Tibetans in turning this in fact refugee settlement into a popular tourist destination, while some have already settled there. Communities embedded in mobility—for which mobility is an everyday lived experience—reshape our thinking about adaptation processes and social coexistence.
Margarita del Olmo
This paper focuses on analysing challenges that students coming from different countries face when they come to Spain and continue their school trajectories started in their countries of origin. I use the narrative of one of these students, constructed through ethnographic work carried out in a programme designed to help migrant students ease their transition into the school system of the Community of Madrid. This narrative allows me to introduce some of the challenges these students face and how they re-shape their trajectories and their self-perceptions according to the possibilities their new contexts present them with. With this, I contextualize the case study to show a broader picture of migrant students coming from different countries to stay in Spain during the last decade, and how schools themselves address this situation in Spain, in general, and in Madrid, in particular.
Social workers, irregular migrants and fragmented statehood in Belgian welfare bureaucracies
In Belgium, depending on their immigration status, foreigners may be entitled to different forms of social assistance, ranging from emergency medical care to financial benefits. In a context where residence permits are constantly updated, re-examined or withdrawn by the administration, this article explores the ways in which welfare bureaucrats deal with irregular migrants. Based on ethnographic fieldwork at welfare offices in French-speaking Belgium, this article shows that documentary practices in welfare bureaucracies have the effect of both restricting access to social assistance and aiding irregular migrants in bringing cases against the administration. This article thus also delves into the double-edged relationship of the social workers to the state by focusing on the competing norms and interpretations of law they encounter on a daily basis.
Central Asian Migrants between Ethnic Discrimination and Religious Integration
For migrants coming from Central Asia to Moscow, the Cathedral Mosque functions as a central hub to organise their life in the Russian capital. The reason for this is not predominantly their faith or religion. Rather, this place of worship opens a space in which these mostly Tajik people translate their status from that of a stranger exposed to xenophobia and distrust to the respected position of a proper Muslim.
Controlling Colonial Migrants in Interwar France and Senegal
Johann Le Guelte
This article examines the politics of interwar colonial identification practices put into place by the French colonial state in order to curtail the mobility of colonial (im)migrants. I argue that photography was used as a tool of imperial control in both French West Africa (AOF) and metropolitan France, since colonial men’s inability to provide the required photographic portraits often prevented them from moving around the empire. In response, colonial subjects appropriated photography in alternative ways to subvert these administrative restrictions. Moreover, they took advantage of metropolitan racial stereotypes to contest Western identification practices.
Nonrecording states between legibility and looking away
Barak Kalir and Willem van Schendel
India and its dealings with unauthorized migrants in the heavily policed city of Mumbai to demonstrate that standard explanations of nonrecording practices in terms of state failure or corruption are incorrect. He argues that the state template derived
the life of small traders and migrants, off ering, thanks to its economic aff ordability, new, unexpected possibilities for the creation of social, economic, and commercial links with the motherland. The commercial sector that has probably been aff