Matters of control: integration tests and naturalisation reform in Western Europe
At ECPR 37th Joint Sessions of Workshops, Portugal.
14 - 19 Apr 2009.
Full text not available from this repository.
It is unfortunate, but true, that in the new millennium there has been a shift away from
multiculturalism and the politics of difference towards integration and assimilation and a gradual
‘thickening’ of political belonging. While the Populist Right has pursued an Islamophobic and
anti-migrant discourse with a renewed dynamism, governments frequently comment on the
alleged weaknesses of the multicultural model and the advantages of thicker, communitarian
notions of community, as attested by the revision of naturalisation law and policy in the United
Kingdom, the Netherlands and elsewhere. In this paper I review integration policies in Europe,
seek to account for the diffusion of integration tests and argue that the fashionable language of
integration and/or tempered assimilation are politically dated and normatively deficient
approaches to diversity. I furnish the basic tenets of an alternative pluralist mode of inclusion
based on respectful symbiosis and the ‘letting be’ of groups of migrant origin. In the final section
of the paper, I explore an alternative to naturalisation that is more consonant with the pluralist
mode of incorporation and consider possible objections to my argument.
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