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Immigrant Rights and Regional Inclusion

Democratic Experimentalism in the European Union

Jonathan Bowman

Although justification and implementation of human rights are typically dealt with as separate issues, the lines between them become particularly opaque when dealing with contested rights claims, particularly those made by immigrant groups. The relevant lessons from Europe seem to indicate that in these sorts of cases, questions of justification can become embedded in deliberative practices that lead to their greater institutional entrenchment. The heterogeneity of deliberative practices out of diverse Member State administrative contexts can be turned into an epistemic virtue when including additional perspectives that increase the likelihood of avoiding error and alleviating bias. With a focus on immigrant rights in the EU, I first give a stylized rendition of the shortcomings of three views—post-national rights theorists, liberal nationalists, and cosmopolitans. In contrast, experimentalists highlight the democratic potential of realizing rights on a pragmatic model of the Open Method of Coordination that better responds to regional problems not necessarily tied to a single site of sovereignty. Since immigrants in the EU are party to multiple overlapping political communities, the democratic justification of rights in contested cases can be directly tied to this novel institutional implementation, forging a modified social imaginary in the process for all affected actors.

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Fernanda Duarte

The Transborder Immigrant Tool is a Border Disturbance Art Performance that discusses the physical and virtual limits of the U.S.–Mexico frontier. It was developed by the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) with the funding of the Arts and Humanities Grant 2007–2008 at the University of California in San Diego. The project uses an inexpensive GPS-enabled cell phone and a custom piece of software, the Virtual Hiker Algorithm, to guide border crossers in the desert. The crossing of the U.S.–Mexico border can be deadly due to the severe conditions of the environment; once in the Mexican desert, the software installed in the cell phone directs the immigrant toward the nearest aid site, be that water, first aid or law enforcement, along with other contextual navigational information. According to the EDT, the Transborder Immigrant Tool was created with the aim of reappropriating widely available technology to be used as a form of humanitarian aid, as well as offering a tactical intervention of distraction and disturbance in the order of transnational corridors. In addition to the navigational capabilities of the Tool, the performative effect is also provided through poetry made available on the screen of the cell phone. It is with this poetry that the artists attempt to rescue a sense of hospitality and to alleviate the difficulties of the journey.

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Immigrant and Refugee Women

Recreating Meaning in Transnational Context

Denise L. Spitzer

Migrating to another country is potentially fraught with both challenges and potential opportunities. This article examines ways in which mature Chilean, Chinese and Somali women who migrated to Canada deploy personal and communal resources to imbue shifting relations and novel spaces with new meanings. Through these activities, they create a place for themselves on Canadian soil while remaining linked to their homelands. I argue that the ability of immigrant and refugee women to reconstruct their lives—often under conditions of systemic inequalities—is evidence of their resilience, which consequently has a positive effect on health and well-being.

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Inclusion without recognition

The socialist Left and immigrants in 1970s Italy

Davide Però

Diverting from the prevailing trend that considers Italy in terms of international migrations, this article examines one aspect of its internal mass migrations, namely, how the mainstream Left of the 1960s and 1970s constructed southern immigrants in northern cities, taking the 'red city' of Bologna as a privileged context for analysis. The article argues that this construction—despite a number of significant limitations—was on the whole inclusionary, as it incorporated the immigrants into the working class and into the socialist project of societal transformation. By analytically describing the framing of immigrants by the 'socialist' Left, this article also highlights the historically specific nature in which migrants are constructed, lays the basis for a future comparison with the contemporary 'postsocialist' construction of immigrants, and provides material for a more general anthropological reflection on the trajectories followed by discourses of inclusion/exclusion in recent decades.

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Not an Immigrant Country?

Non-Western Racism and the Duties of Global Citizenship

Adam K. Webb

The rise of non-Western societies, especially in Asia, to greater global influence demands greater scrutiny of how they engage the rest of the world. To date, every society with high levels of immigration is in Europe or a product of the European empires. The erosion of ethnically and racially inflected understandings of citizenship has also gone much further in the modern West than in East Asia or the Gulf States. Notably, however, liberal political theorists who make the case for a cosmopolitan opening of borders remain silent on such non-Western patterns of racial exclusion. Non-Western societies often claim that, because they are 'not an immigrant country', they should not be held to the same standards of openness and non-discrimination. International law, a product of the postcolonial moment, also has a blind spot on these issues. This article challenges such double standards. It suggests that the implicit normative argument for greater Western openness – collective guilt over the colonial experience and resulting racial stratification – leads in unexpected directions, implicating Asian societies in ways that they do not yet recognise.

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Ander Delgado

In this article I explore the ways in which migrants from other parts of Spain to the Basque Country are portrayed in Basque social science textbooks published in the Basque Country between the end of Franco’s dictatorship and the period of the transition to democracy. I elucidate the role attributed to immigrants, who were culturally and linguistically distinct from Basque society, by educators concerned about the survival of Basque culture and the Basque language. In addition, the article addresses strategies proposed by members of the Basque education sector and adopted in order to facilitate integration during this period.

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The Cartoon Controversy

Creating Muslims in a Danish Setting

Anja Kublitz

This article offers a situational analysis of the printing of cartoons about the Islamic Prophet in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and the ensuing demonstration by Danish Muslims. It suggests that rather than simply sparking protests, the 'cartoon controversy' created a space for possible actions and a political platform for Muslims all over the world. Based on a review of the historical development of the national Danish discourse on immigrants, the article conveys how the cartoon controversy became instrumental in transforming this discourse. As a major creative event, it not only ridiculed a dominant religious symbol but simultaneously created a space for the becoming of Muslims in Denmark and beyond.

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Neriko Musha Doerr

Though the concept ‘global learner’ has become a buzzword in education, few have critically analysed it. This article examines three types of ‘unlikely global learners’ who are not usually considered global learners even though they could be, according to a current definition: Ma¯ori–English bilingual students in Aotearoa/New Zealand; an American student who studied abroad in the U.K. in ways not valued in the dominant study-abroad discourse of immersion; and immigrant English-as-a-Second-Language students in the U.S. I analyse what their erasure as global learners tells us, arguing that the notion of global learner acts as what Walter Benjamin calls a phantasmagoria that masks the power relations involved. Though critical of ‘global learners’ as a globalist concept, I call for expanding the notion in order to engage with current transformations in education.

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On and Off the Margin

The Anthropology of Contemporary Jewry

Andrew Buckser

In recent decades, the ethnography of Jews and Judaism has followed the larger movement in cultural anthropology toward a focus on the margin—the cultural, geographical, and demographic borderlands where questions of group and individual identity are negotiated. The article explores this literature and the questions it raises about the nature of Jewish community and culture. It discusses three areas where marginality has had a particular resonance in Jewish ethnography. Studies of 'marginal Jews' focus on the periphery of traditional Jewish communities, people whose gender, ethnic, and sexual identities lie outside of local normative models. Studies of 'unexpected Jewries' explore a geographical periphery outside the few centers that dominate international Jewish culture and self-understanding. Studies of 'Jews in motion' examine transitional Jews—tourists, immigrants, refugees, and others who bridge the local contexts within which Jewish identities are constructed. These studies reveal Jewish culture to be much more complex, dynamic, and durable than social scientists and Jews themselves have often imagined it.

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The state, race, and immigrant adaptation

A comparative analysis of the Korean diaspora in Japan and the United States

Kazuko Suzuki

English abstract: What accounts for varying forms of adaptation of immigrants to host countries? Despite their common ethnic origin, Korean immigrants demonstrate very different adaptation patterns in Japan and the United States. By elucidating the importance of different national peculiarities in racial ideology, this article argues that Korean immigrants are racialized differently given different circumstances and structural conditions in these two countries. Employing a cross-national comparison focusing on a single ethnic group, this study shows that cultural and racial similarities between immigrants and the mainstream of the host society do not guarantee smooth assimilation. This article concludes that in the long run, differences in modes of incorporation are more relevant to immigrant adaptation than visible racial or cultural differences between the immigrants and the mainstream of the host society.

Spanish abstract: ¿Cómo se explican las diversas formas de adaptación de inmigrantes en los países receptores? A pesar de su origen étnico común, los inmigrantes coreanos han mostrado patrones de adaptación muy diferentes en Japón y los Estados Unidos. Al mostrar la importancia de las diferentes peculiaridades nacionales en la ideología racial, este artículo argumenta que los inmigrantes coreanos son racializados diferencialmente de acuerdo a las distintas circunstancias y las condiciones estructurales en estos dos países. A través de una comparación transnacional centrada en un solo grupo étnico, este estudio muestra que las similitudes raciales y culturales entre los inmigrantes y la mayoría de la sociedad de acogida, no garantizan una fácil asimilación. En este artículo se concluye que, en el largo plazo, las diferencias en los modos de incorporación son más relevantes para la adaptación de los inmigrantes que las visibles diferencias raciales / culturales entre los inmigrantes y la generalidad de la sociedad receptora.

French abstract: Comment expliquer les formes variables de l'adaptation des immigrants dans le pays hôte ? En dépit de leur origine ethnique commune, les immigrants coréens ont montré des modes d'adaptation très différents au Japon et aux Etats-Unis. En montrant l'importance de certaines particularités nationales pour l'idéologie raciale, cet article soutient que ces immigrants coréens sont racialement différenciés en fonction des situations et des conditions structurelles différentes dans ces deux pays. Par le biais d'une comparaison transnationale portant sur un seul groupe ethnique, ce e étude montre que les similarités culturelles et raciales entre les immigrants et la société-hôte traditionnelle ne sont pas les garantes d'une assimilation aisée. Cet article conclut que, sur le long-terme, les modes d'incorporation sont plus importants pour l'adaptation des immigrants que les différences raciales/culturelles visibles entre les immigrants et la société traditionnelle de l'Etat-hôte.