The largest group of migrants in Germany is the Turkish people, many of whom have low skills levels, are Muslim, and are slow to integrate themselves into their host communities. German immigration policy has been significantly revised since the early 1990s, and a new Immigration Act came into force in 2005, containing more inclusive stances on citizenship and integration of migrants. There is a strong rhetoric of acceptance and open doors, within certain parameters, but the gap between the rhetoric and practice is still wide enough to allow many migrants, particularly women, to fall through it. Turkish-Muslim women bear the brunt of the difficulties faced once they have arrived in Germany, and many of them are subject to domestic abuse, joblessness and poverty because of their invisibility to the German state, which is the case largely because German immigration policy does not fully realise a role and place for women migrants. The policy also does not sufficiently account for ethnic and cultural identification, or limitations faced by migrants in that while it speaks to integration, it does not fully enable this process to take place effectively. Even though it has made many advances in recent years towards a more open and inclusive immigration policy, Germany is still a 'reluctant' country of immigration, and this reluctance stops it from making any real strides towards integrating migrants fully into German society at large. The German government needs to take a much firmer stance on the roles of migrant women in its society, and the nature of the ethnic and religious identities of Muslim immigrants, in order to both create and implement immigration policy that truly allows immigrants to become full and contributing members to German social and economic life, and to bring it in line with the European Union's common directives on immigration.
A critique of immigration policy in Germany through the lens of Turkish-Muslim women's experiences of migration
The five articles that comprise this edition of Theoria cover a range of issues from reconsidering the war on terrorism to defending black solidarity to the abjection of the vagina in Brazil and South Africa. While the subject matter of the five articles is diverse, there is a common thread that connects them: they all touch on the themes of inclusion and exclusion. In an increasingly globalised world shaped by crossborder events like the war on terrorism, we find ourselves connected to one another in new ways, and we are forced to consider the issue of belonging. Global migration brings people from developing parts of the world, some of which are predominantly Muslim, into contact with people in developed parts of the world, like Europe. The cultural and ethnic tensions and clashes that result raise questions about belonging—who belongs and who does not—and who has the right to be included in the state, and who should be excluded. The first two articles examine ways of excluding and marginalising members of society, respectively women and black intellectuals, in ways that are not necessarily obvious to the wider society. The second and third articles overlap in exposing ways of including marginalised people that are shown to be false. The final two articles look at new ways of creating discourses of inclusion through appealing to new forms of moral humanism and moral realism. Behind and through these narratives flows a concern about how, or even whether, one can expand inclusion in old and new discourses, or just reproduce new forms of old exclusions or replace old exclusions with new ones.
The focus of this special issue of Theoria is the Politics of Migration. Our aim in designing and attracting contributions to this issue was to contribute to the current debates on various aspects of global migration practices that are challenging the ways in which many nation-states, sending and receiving migrants, conceive of their place in this ever-changing globalised and globalising world in which we all live. International Relations theorists have, for several years, been writing about the contesting phenomena of integration and disintegration in global politics. As the world becomes more globalised, more linked and interdependent, the reality of a kind of global citizenship for the privileged elite with access to the markets and their spoils become more apparent. Those on the other end of the spectrum, often immigrant, minority and working class groupings who do not have access to resources beyond those promised to them by the state they rely on, react against these globalising forces. The result is a contest between a global integration and pulling together of individuals all over the world with similar political and economic situations, and a disintegration within and between nation-states, where those without these networks retreat into ethnic and cultural enclaves that offer them protection and defence against globalising impulses.
Sherran Clarence, Raphael de Kadt, and Fabio Zoia
(Un)thinking Citizenship. Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa, edited by Amanda Gouws Sherran Clarence
Democracy and Exchange: Schumpeter, Galbraith, T.H. Marshall, Titmuss and Adam Smith by David Reisman Raphael de Kadt
The Making of Modern South Africa: Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy, by Nigel Worden Fabio Zoia