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Crises now and then – comparing integration policy frameworks and immigrant target groups in 1970s and 2000s

Open Panel

Abstract

Until the stop for immigration in 1973 there was little emphasis on social integration and the general thought was the migrant labor force would return to their home countries. During the economic upturn in the 2000s a somewhat similar policy framework was prevailing. Although we find civic stratification and a very restrictive integration policy framework targeting the traditional immigrant groups, there were less focus on integration when it related to targets of the specialized labour migration schemes as well as the labour migrants from new EU member states. Again the stay of the migrants was believed to be temporary. The recent global financial crisis arguably has had an immense impact on the movement of economic migrants across the world. Contrary to public and political belief many migrants have chosen to stay in the destination countries rather than returning home. Considering the experiences from the last period of economic upturns and inflow of labour migration why was there again little attention on integration measures? In this paper we want to explore policy transformations relating to integration in the light of periods economic upturns and downturns. We analyse and compare the development of policy frames and policy content before, during and after the crises in 1973 and 2008 and thereby seek to answer how economic contours affect not only policy-making processes and content but also the social construction of target groups. Furthermore, we ask what can be learned from the crisis/migration experiences from a sociological historical perspective. Until the stop for immigration in 1973 there was little emphasis on social integration and the general thought was the migrant labor force would return to their home countries. During the economic upturn in the 2000s a somewhat similar policy framework was prevailing. Although we find civic stratifications and a very restrictive integration policy framework targeting the traditional immigrant groups, there were less focus on integration when it related to targets of the specialized labour migration schemes as well as the labour migrants from new EU member states. Again the stay of the migrants was believed to be temporary. The recent global financial crisis arguably has had an immense impact on the movement of economic migrants across the world. Contrary to public and political belief many migrants have chosen to stay in the destination countries rather than returning home. Considering the experiences from the last period of economic upturns and inflow of labour migration why was there again little attention on integration measures? In this paper we want to explore policy transformations relating to integration in the light of periods economic upturns and downturns. We analyse and compare the development of policy frames and policy content before, during and after the crises in 1973 and 2008 and thereby seek to answer how economic contours affect not only policy-making processes and content but also the social construction of target groups. Furthermore, we ask what can be learned from the crisis/migration experiences from a sociological historical perspective. Until the stop for immigration in 1973 there was little emphasis on social integration and the general thought was the migrant labor force would return to their home countries. During the economic upturn in the 2000s a somewhat similar policy framework was prevailing. Although we find civic stratifications and a very restrictive integration policy framework targeting the traditional immigrant groups, there were less focus on integration when it related to targets of the specialized labour migration schemes as well as the labour migrants from new EU member states. Again the stay of the migrants was believed to be temporary. The recent global financial crisis arguably has had an immense impact on the movement of economic migrants across the world. Contrary to public and political belief many migrants have chosen to stay in the destination countries rather than returning home. Considering the experiences from the last period of economic upturns and inflow of labour migration why was there again little attention on integration measures? In this paper we want to explore policy transformations relating to integration in the light of periods economic upturns and downturns. We analyse and compare the development of policy frames and policy content before, during and after the crises in 1973 and 2008 and thereby seek to answer how economic contours affect not only policy-making processes and content but also the social construction of target groups. Furthermore, we ask what can be learned from the crisis/migration experiences from a sociological historical perspective.