The politics of belonging: migrants and minorities in contemporary Europe

Author (Person) ,
Publication Date 1999
ISBN 1-84014-177-8
Content Type

Book abstract:

The 'politics of belonging' is in part about the formal rules and laws that enable membership or exclude minorities from the national community. It is also about the informal symbolic, linguistic and cultural processes by which majority groups react to new groups, and by which these newcomers organise and defend their interests. In the range of contributions to this volume, some look at the effects of laws and political institutions on majority and minority populations, others look at the ways in which the ethnic groups themselves react to their situation and mobilise in terms of cultural and political opportunities available. The following questions feature in the range of papers and are explored in detail in the case study material that is presented: Are there specific political struggles about access to housing, to welfare benefits, to education? Is there controversy over voting rights for non-nationals? What about special cultural rights for ethnic minorities? How does unemployment affect the issue? How is the new European institutional context affecting the national level struggles?

In terms of the organisation of the book, the volume moves from work focusing on migrant and minority issues within bounded national contexts, to ones that take place against the emerging framework of transnational politics, European integration and globalisation.

The book's main objective is to present grounded research located in a theoretical context that discusses the politics of belonging in relation to national particularities, while also exploring the ways in which developments above and beyond the nation state challenge our understanding of the role of the state in immigration-related politics.

Most of the papers published in this book come from a conference held at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris, July 1996.

Subject Categories