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Becoming Europe Immigration, Integration, and the Welfare State by Patrick Ireland

Becoming Europe Immigration, Integration, and the Welfare State


Becoming Europe Immigration, Integration, and the Welfare State by Patrick Ireland

Across Europe, millions of immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers have often had difficulties fitting into their new societies. Most analysts have laid the blame on a clash of cultures. Becoming Europe provides evidence that institutions matter more than culture in determining the shape of ethnic relations. Patrick Ireland argues that it is incorrect blithely to anticipate unavoidable conflict between Muslim immigrants and European host societies. Noting similarities in the structure of the welfare states in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium - as well as in their respective North African and Turkish immigrant communities - he compares national- and city-level developments to show how approaches toward immigrant settlement have diverged widely and evolved over time. Becoming Europe demonstrates how policymakers have worked hard to balance immigrants' claims to distinct traditions with demands for equal treatment. Ultimately, it reveals a picture of people learning by doing, in the day-to-day activities that shape how communities come together and break apart.


A considerable feat of scholarship combining genuine innovation with real insight into Europe's complex politics of migration and ethnicity. - Andrew Geddes, University of Liverpool; Ireland has done a masterful job in addressing a number of interrelated issues: the entitlements of citizenship; socioeconomic integration and cultural diversity; and the future of the welfare state in face of the pressures of globalization. - William Safran, University of Colorado; A strikingly original analysis of how welfare reform affects immigrant incorporation. - Gary P. Freeman, University of Texas at Austin

About the Author

Patrick Ireland, author of The Policy Challenge of Ethnic Diversity, teaches comparative politics and international relations at the University of Houston and the University of Saint Thomas in Houston.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st August 2004


Patrick Ireland

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University of Pittsburgh Press


288 pages


Ethnic studies
Migration, immigration & emigration
Social welfare & social services



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