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The political response to immigration in Madrid. Towards an inclusive local citizenship?

Elisa Brey
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Elisa Brey
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Open Panel

Abstract

The evolution of immigration in Spain can be analyzed according to the “migratory cycle” perspective, developed by Dassetto and adopted by Cachón to describe the Spanish case. Until the eighties, Spain was receiving very few immigrants from Latin America and Northern Europe. From the beginning of the nineties, and especially since 2000, immigration started to increase. Nowadays, it represents more than 15% of the whole population, although this proportion changes depending on the local or regional receiving context. In Spain, local governments are one of the main actors which give a political answer towards immigration (Zapata Barrero). The challenges are important in time of economic crisis (Aja, Arango and Oliver), since unemployment is especially affecting migrants and young people with low qualifications. These challenges deal with co-inclusion and citizenship. The proposed paper will analyze the role played by local governments towards immigration in the metropolitan area of Madrid, focussing on the comparative situation of migrants from Morocco, Romania, the Andean countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. The hypothesis for this work suggests that municipalities will develop different responses towards these four groups, and this will have some consequences on their participation within local citizenship. This research is part of the PhD project of the author. The data were collected through different ethnographic techniques during the academic year 2009-2010. The qualitative interviews were conducted with migrants, organisations and public servants from different municipal services, in order to understand the relations between policies, discourses and practices.