The Logics and Politics of Post-WWII Migration to Western Europe

The Logics and Politics of Post-WWII Migration to Western Europe

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Few phenomena have been more disruptive to West European politics and society than the accumulative experience of post-WWII immigration. Against this backdrop spring two questions: Why have the immigrant-receiving states historically permitted high levels of immigration? To what degree can the social and political fallout precipitated by immigration be politically managed? Utilizing evidence from a variety of sources, this study explores the links between immigration and the surge of popular support for anti-immigrant groups; its implications for state sovereignty; its elevation to the policy agenda of the European Union; and its domestic legacies. It argues that post-WWII migration is primarily an interest-driven phenomenon that has historically served the macroeconomic and political interests of the receiving countries. Moreover, it is the role of politics in adjudicating the claims presented by domestic economic actors, foreign policy commitments, and humanitarian norms that creates a permissive environment for significant migration to Western Europe.show more

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"Wide-ranging, authoritative, and fair, this is a comprehensive and ambitious study of the entire body of political science scholarship dealing with postwar immigration in Europe. Messina's conclusion that this migration is interest driven and has been and primarily remains defined and governed by sovereign national governments and states is well-supported by his substantive chapters." Gary P. Freeman, The University of Texas at Austin "Messina has produced an outstanding book. For its range of countries, breadth of research, and theoretical purchase, I can't think of a book on the market that matches it. Messina's broadest argument - that postwar immigration has been an interest-driven phenomenon governed by sovereign state actors - is a necessary corrective to two dominant trends in the literature: a belittling of state power and an excessive emphasis on structure over agency. Messina has restored politics to the study of immigration, and he has done so with sophistication and elegance." Randall Hansen, University of Toronto "Messina's excellent book makes it clear that national narratives and political self-explanations have overly influenced many of our ideas about European migration policy...Messina has written an uncomplicated book about Europe's complicated history of postwar immigration policy...Messina brings order and coherence to our disjointed discussion of European migrations policy and in the process writes a sweeping history of why migration has transformed Europe over the past fifty years." Jytte Klausen, Brandeis University "This account of post-war migration politics in Europe is a wise and thoughtful book. It is produced by one of the veteran observers of European politics, and stands in a long line of distinguished American scholarship in this field. "Tony Messina has successfully probed the most incisive of political science questions in this magisterial grand sweep of a book. He asks why and how post-war Europe managed to recruit and absorb many millions of immigrants against all the odds. He understands that state sovereignty has been tested to hilt in many European countries and yet equally appreciates the challenges this has entailed for party systems, for citizen-voters and for political leadership. "This is no ordinary survey of the politics of migration. It stands head to head with the most illuminating of political science studies in this field. Messina has constantly sought to broaden the horizons of scholars and inform the choices of policy-makers. In The Logic and Politics of Post-WWII Migration to Western Europe, Tony Messina has produced a result that will be standard reading for many years to come." Shamit Saggar, University of Sussex "The Logics and Politics of Post-WWII Migration to Western Europe is the most comprehensive and best-written book on the impact of immigration that I have yet seen. Messina supports the analysis of numerous scholars that immigration in Western Europe is neither out of control, nor has it undermined the ability of contemporary nation-states to control their frontiers. Indeed, he supports the notion that state power is not only intact, but has been reinforced in many ways by the recent waves of immigration into Western Europe." Martin Schain, New York University "This is one of the best texts on the subject currently available, and will be essential reading for scholars... The volume's strength is its truly integrative nature: its brings together the voluminous literature on immigration in Europe in a revealing, organized, and insightful fashion." JM Ackleson, New Mexico State University, for Choice Magazine 2007 Outstanding Academic Title -- Choice Magazineshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction: immigration and state sovereignty; 2. The origins and trajectory of post-WWII immigration; 3. The organized nativist backlash: the surge of anti-immigrant groups; 4. Immigration and state sovereignty: implications of the British and German cases; 5. The logics and politics of a European immigration policy regime; 6. The domestic legacies of postwar immigration: citizenship, monoculturalism, and the Keynesian welfare state; 7. The logics and politics of immigrant political incorporation.show more

About Anthony M. Messina

Anthony M. Messina is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Race and Party Competition in Britain and is the editor of several books, including most recently (with Robert M. Fishman) The Year of the Euro: The Cultural, Political and Social Import of Europe's Common Currency. He has also written articles published in the Journal of Common Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, Political Studies, Policy Studies Journal, The Review of Politics, West European Politics, World Politics, and other scholarly journals and anthologies.show more

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6 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 50% (3)
3 33% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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