15. Migration and Social Policy: Current Research and New Perspectives

Ann Morissens, University of Twente, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

Diane Sainsbury, Stockholm University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Global migration has increased the ethnic diversity of European societies. In fact, one observer has termed developments of the past decade as producing ‘super-diversity’, as migrants come from an increasing number of countries, forms of migration or entry categories have led to a growing stratification in immigrant rights, and European countries vary in terms of granting immigrants access to social benefits and services.

This stream interrogates the impact of migration on social policy and how social policies in a broad sense impact on immigrants’ inclusion and integration in European societies. The current research agenda has tended to concentrate on three areas. The first is the challenge of migration to the welfare state and specific social policies. How do migration and increasing diversity alter the preconditions for social policies? So far most work has centred on popular opinion and legitimacy of the welfare state and speculated on the future consequences. It has been notably silent about the attitudes and views of immigrants. A second area has focused on the role of the European Union and the dynamics of migration policies and social policies especially in the integration of migrants in the member states, as witnessed in the development of the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX). The Index consists of several policy indicators, including labour market policies and education but curiously does not include access to social benefits or social protection. A third area has brought gender into the analysis by dealing with migration and care. This approach has generated many insights but it has also directed attention away from other gendered aspects of migration and social policies. We welcome papers in these three areas but especially encourage (comparative) papers that move beyond current research and incorporate new perspectives. 

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