Beyond national models

Comparing migrant integration regimes

Authored by: Christophe Bertossi , Jan Willem Duyvendak

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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Since the 1990s, the notion of national models of integration and citizenship has been a very popular one in the comparative literature on Europe and has offered some advantages for research on the incorporation of immigrants and their offspring. Different typologies suggested a correlation between the institutional and ideological logics in countries such as Britain, the Netherlands, France and Germany, and the policies of migrants’ integration in these countries, along complex discussions comparing models of multiculturalism, republicanism, and ethnic exclusion, and their possible convergence. However, despite its success, the notion of models has tended to become a non-reflexive tool, the career of which has been deeply rooted in the evolution of the politics that have agitated Western European public debates about immigration, multiculturalism and Islam over the last three decades. In the social science literature, this has led to instances where a model is blamed for the success or failure of a specific policy approach. In turn, in the 2000s, a new discussion emphasized the limits of the notion. This chapter proposes a return to these discussions and highlights some of the key problems of models that have affected comparative research on migration, integration and multiculturalism.

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