Across Europe, millions of immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers have often had difficulties fitting into their new societies. Most analysts have laid the blame on a clash of cultures. Becoming Europe provides evidence that institutions matter more than culture in determining the shape of ethnic relations.
Patrick Ireland argues that it is incorrect blithely to anticipate unavoidable conflict between Muslim immigrants and European host societies. Noting similarities in the structure of the welfare states in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium—as well as in their respective North African and Turkish immigrant communities—he compares national- and city-level developments to show how approaches toward immigrant settlement have diverged widely and evolved over time.
Becoming Europe demonstrates how policymakers have worked hard to balance immigrants’ claims to distinct traditions with demands for equal treatment. Ultimately, it reveals a picture of people learning by doing in the day-to-day activities that shape how communities come together and break apart.
Ireland has done a masterful job in addressing a number of interrelated issues: the entitlements of citizenship; socioeconomic integration and cultural diversity; and the future of the welfare state in face of the pressures of globalization.
A strikingly original analysis of how welfare reform affects immigrant incorporation.
A remarkable treatment of Muslim, Turkish, and North African immigration in western Europe, and of attendant changes in welfare policy. . . . A combination of fine scholarship and level-headed evaluation.
A valuable source for public policy professionals in both academia and politics.
Well-Written, well-argued, and richly detailed. Highly recommended.
Fascinating insight . . . Ireland not only gives an important thrust to the theoretical debate in integration, cultural diversity, and the impact of social policies, but by his unique approach of combining and examining national and sub-national developments over a long period, he contributes to a less myopic political debate on immigrant incorporation in Europe.
Patrick Ireland, author of The Policy Challenge of Ethnic Diversity, teaches comparative politics and international relations at the University of Houston and the University of Saint Thomas in Houston.