Governing urban diversity : immigrant integration policies and discourses in Dublin and Vienna
Title: Governing urban diversity : immigrant integration policies and discourses in Dublin and Vienna
Author: HADJ-ABDOU, Leila
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2013
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This thesis explores how city governments respond to the presence of immigrants and the increasing ethno-cultural difference that comes with it, seeking to explain these responses. The thesis analyses discourses about immigrants and immigration by relevant policy-makers as well as types of immigrant integration policy. The thesis is based upon a comparison (longitudinal and across-cities) of the capital of Ireland - a city of recent immigration - and the capital of Austria, a city with a long history of immigration. These contrasting cases, which at the same time exhibit similar positions within their two nation states and within the global setting, allow an examination of the processes of convergence, as well as a scrutiny of the particularities of European cities in the domain of immigrant integration. The thesis argues that an analysis of both discourses and policies contributes to a more accurate understanding of the dynamics of immigrant integration in the urban space. The majority of research on immigrant integration in cities focuses solely on policies. This research tends to depict cities as an inclusive and liberal arena in contrast to the nation state. Cities, indeed, differ from nation states. The nation state and national citizenship are institutions that are based on principles of social closure and the notion of the imagined community. Rights and resources are widely accessible to its members, while this is not necessarily the case for others. Cities, in contrast, are potentially more predisposed to welcoming strangers. One becomes a member of the city by the fact of residence, and loses membership automatically by giving up residence. To a certain degree, the research findings of the thesis challenge this idea of the open city. It is shown that cities are clearly embedded in the national categorisations of boundary-making and are constrained by institutional mechanisms located at the nation-state level. Local governments are not only pragmatic actors which have to deal with the problems of integration on the ground. This thesis demonstrates that urban immigrant integration policies are led by cost and benefit considerations of policy actors confronted with global economic competition. Moreover, the policies of the cities as well as the discourses about immigrants are led by ideas such as the collective memory of a city and cross-city travelling concepts of immigrant integration. Urban responses to immigrants are also driven by institutional factors such as the make-up of the welfare regime and the electoral and party systems. Political party competition in particular is a relevant factor, substantially shaping both discourses and policies.
LC Subject Heading: Immigrants -- Ireland -- Dublin -- Social conditions; Ireland -- Dublin -- Social policy; Ireland -- Dublin -- Ethnic relations; Immigrants -- Austria -- Vienna -- Social conditions; Austria -- Vienna -- Social policy; Austria -- Vienna -- Ethnic relations
Examining Board: Professor Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute (Supervisor) Professor Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute (Co-Supervisor) Professor Bryan Fanning, University College Dublin Professor Andrew Geddes, University of Sheffield.; Defence date: 16 September 2013
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