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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Rescaling Solidarity? Ethno-National Politics, Immigration and Solidarity in the (Spanish) Basque Country and Israel Periphery

Comparative Politics
Local Government
National Identity
Policy Implementation
Tina Magazzini
European University Institute
Tina Magazzini
European University Institute
Amandine Desille

The proposed paper aims at critically engaging with a strand of North American scholarship concerned with the relations between the Welfare State, immigration and solidarity and applying these debates to two Mediterranean subnational cases. In recent years Canadian political scientists Johnston (2010) and Kymlicka (2015) have explored the extent to which immigration has unsettled the (possibly romanticized) relation between welfare state and solidarity. In order to put to the test this trans-Atlantic literature’s relevance, our paper compares the immigrant integration politics and policies of two Mediterranean cases, the Spanish Basque country and Israel’s peripheral cities. These cases studies enable us to frame the debate within two enduring ethno-national regions, both of which have formed immigration policies and have developed their own immigration politics. By looking at these local policies in a comparative perspective we propose a rescaled understanding of the links between the state, immigration and solidarity that aim at a theoretical cross-fertilization with the above-mentioned scholarship while overcoming methodological nationalism. In sum, immigration politics in contemporary Basque Country and in Israel’s peripheral cities enable us to reassess, in relation to alternative explanations and different stages of the policy process, the influence of nationalism and of linguistic politics on subnational immigration policymaking and on solidarity.
The paper draws on two research projects initiated in the framework of the MSCA ITN INTEGRIM and that have been carried on over the past five years. We focus on the discourses produced by policymakers during elections and beyond in the Spanish Basque Country and in four cities located in the periphery of Israel. With this comparison, we show how solidarity is rescaled and reframed in both subnational contexts, limiting access to certain immigrants on ethical and economic grounds.
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