From time to time I get asked when the data from the SOM Project on the politicization of immigration will be available. It’s already there!
I’m very happy to announce that the book The Politicisation of Migration is finally out! The book unites work from all researchers involved in the SOM project and examines how and to what extent immigration has become politicised in the seven SOM countries between 1995 and 2009. With a joint theoretical frame on politicization and de-politicization, the book goes beyond mapping variations across countries and time.
This edited volume addresses questions like: Why are migration policies sometimes heavily contested and high on the political agenda? And why do they, at other moments and in other countries, hardly lead to much public debate? The entrance and settlement of migrants in Western Europe has prompted various political reactions. We find that in some countries anti-immigration parties have gained substantial public support while in others migration policies have been hardly controversial.
The MIPEX (Migrant Integration Policy Index) is a relatively widely used index. I have demonstrated empirically that it can be used as a scale, but have voiced some concerns about the weak theoretical foundation.
The number of countries covered by the MIPEX is increasing, and there are 148 indicators available. In an attempt to make most of these data, I have picked the parts of the MIPEX that most closely fit the typology developed in Koopmans et al. (2005).
We can discuss the labels, but there are clear differences between countries, and citizenship regimes are clearly dynamic. This means that, yes, citizenship regimes are worth investigating, but country dummies will fail to provide an accurate picture.
Koopmans, Ruud, Paul Statham, Marco Giugni, and Florence Passy. 2005. Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.
Ruedin, Didier. 2011. “The reliability of MIPEX indicators as scales.” SOM Working Paper 3: 1–19.
Is there evidence that the political debate on immigration and integration is becoming Europeanized? We could pick a few anecdotes either way, or we could do it systematically.
Here is a breakdown of the scope of the individuals or organizations making political claims over time. Claims are grouped into 5 years, and in all contexts the national (and sub-national) scope dominates — the maximum in the figure is 6.5%.
Also on figshare.
I note an upward trend in European claims between 2000-4 and 2005-9 in five countries, and downward trend in the two countries perhaps less closely integrated in the European Union.
When we present results from the SOM project on the politicization of immigration, we often get comments that media quality will have a big impact on our results. The intuition is that high-quality (broadsheet) outlets cover the debate in a fundamentally different way than low-quality (tabloid) newspapers.
In anticipation of potential differences, we sampled newspaper articles from both broadsheet and tabloid papers. In most instances we find very little difference, apparently in line with Koopmans, but judge yourself:
Here’s the topic of the claim, divided into immigration and integration:
Here is the justification of the claim (“frame”):
And here the so-called object actor (who would be affected by the claim?):
|Migration-related groups in society||86.5%||82.2%|
|Other groups in society||2.3%||4.3%|