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Immigrant Integration, Naturalization, and Citizenship

Martin A. Schain


Comment on this article   There is now a vast amount of scholarly literature that examines the impact of immigration on socioeconomic stability, the challenge of integration, and the challenge to conventional notions of citizenship. In general, the focus of this literature is on the “challenge” (rather than the benefits) of immigration for social cohesion, identity ( Joppke 1998 ), and the well-established rules of citizenship ( Marshall 1950 ), in much the same way that discussions of class for previous generations raised many of these same issues. Among the earlier discussions of the political importance of immigration in western Europe, with the exception of Mark J. Miller ( Miller 1981 ), very few scholars saw immigrants as potential political actors in the sense that Andersen analyzed immigrants in the United States at the time of the New Deal ( Andersen 1979 ). Discussions of the challenge of class and class conflict often called into question the durability of stable democracy, and regime stability; while the challenge of immigration has been analyzed more often in terms of party instability, social tensions, and policy problems. Nevertheless, I would argue that, for social scientists and analysts in western Europe and the United States, it appears that the destabilizing aspects of immigration have largely displaced class as a way of understanding sources of political instability. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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