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The Immigrant Threat The Immigrant Threat

The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe since 1850

by Lucassen, Leo

Common threads in the long-term integration experience of migrants, past and present. Since the 1980s, anti-immigrant discourse has shifted away from the "colour" of immigrants to their religion and culture, focusing on newcomers from Muslim countries who are feared as potential terrorists and the products of tribal societies with values fundamentally opposed to those of secular Western Europe. The author tackles the question of whether it is reasonable to believe that the integration process of these new immigrants will indeed be fundamentally different over multiple generations from ones experienced by similar immigrant groups in the past. For comparison, he focuses on "large and problematic groups" from Western Europe's past (the Irish in the United Kingdom, the Poles in Germany, and the Italians in France) and demonstrates a number of structural similarities in the way migrants and their descendants integrated into these nation states. The author emphasizes that the geographic sources of the "threat" have changed and that contemporaries tend to overemphasize the threat of each successive wave of immigrants, in part because the successfully incorporated immigrants of the past have become invisible in national histories. This book also includes a discussion of old and new migrants in the United States.

Paperback, 296 pages, Illustrated, tables

USD 25.95 / CAD 36.95

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