Immigration of Integration?: Examining Political Events in the Year 2000

in Italian Politics

The year 2000 may have marked the modernization of integration

politics in Italy, but immigration has been central to Italian politics

while integration, a secondary component of general immigration

politics, has received significantly less political and academic attention.

Scholars of racial and ethnic integration in Europe have documented

Italy’s fragmented integration model, as being characterized

by: social programs designed to help people; the separation of public

and voluntary sectors; a paternalistic voluntary sector allowing

little space for immigrant self-representation; a lack of continuity;

and difficulties in obtaining citizenship. Until 2000, immigration

politics focused not on qualitative issues regarding the transformation

of Italian society, but on quantitative questions concerning

Italy’s social and economic capacity to absorb migrants.

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