Integration Comes of Age
“Integration started to attract an increasing amount of attention during the second half of the 1990s, often based on the assumption that in some ways things had taken a turn in the wrong direction. The subsequent debate coined terms like “parallel societies,” “integration deficits” or “failed multiculturalism,” all of them implying that immigration policies had failed in one way or another. This notion appeared somewhat exaggerated when looking at the hard data, and the integration of immigrants seemed to work a lot better than media reports and public debate would have suggested.
Nevertheless, there were some real issues that deserved to be addressed more thoroughly. For too long, immigration policies had more or less focused on the domestic labor market. The intention was to recruit a foreign labor force on a temporary basis, and return the workers to their home countries after completion of their allotted time or in times of recession. In reality, most of the immigration turned out to be permanent; the initial workers settled in their new countries and were followed by relatives. At the same time, slowing economic growth put immigrants in particularly vulnerable positions with regard to job security and labor market inclusion...”
Excerpt from Martin Hofmann, “Integration Comes of Age,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 4, 2018: 38-45.
Martin Hofmann is a migration expert and key advisor to the director general of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). He has coordinated ICMPD’s programs on legal migration and integration and organized projects related to migration, migration management and
integration. His research has produced comparative studies and publications on immigration, integration, irregular migration, human smuggling, asylum and migration policy development in European and global contexts.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.