Balancing Integration Obligations and Welfare Rights: An Examination of Membership Policy in Three European Countries
39 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
Immigration has had an incomparable impact across policy planes in European nation-states, of which immigrant integration and social policy stand out. While a burgeoning literature has explored the widespread “civic turn,” most-different states have adopted mandatory language and country knowledge requirements as a way to regulate access to legal status, less attention has been focused on comparable shifts in social policy. This paper examines the overlaps of and changes to civic integration and social policy as part of a critical rethinking of membership policies in the contemporary welfare state. We argue and find evidence to show that change in civic integration and social policy is not merely contemporaneous but interrelated. Moreover, while Western European states experience similar trends of integration promotion and benefit narrowing, they pursue policy design as part of different membership goals. An examination of policy developments in Britain, Germany, and Spain maps unique changes in civic integration policy alongside benefit access. We account for variation in membership policy by highlighting three interrelated factors: citizenship policy legacies, welfare state model, and the dynamics of party competition.
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