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Reading: Countering Integration Pessimists: New Differentiation for the Integration Debates

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Countering Integration Pessimists: New Differentiation for the Integration Debates

Author:

Matthias Kortmann

Royal Netherlands Historical Society (reviews), DE
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Abstract

In this article Leo and Jan Lucassen’s analysis in Winnaars en verliezers [Winners and losers] of 500 years of immigration to the Netherlands is reviewed with regard to possible conclusions for the neighbouring country, Germany. Particularly since the recent migration history in both countries has been very similar, the authors’ disentanglement of complex migration politics and their differentiated assessment of integration processes in the Netherlands are also useful for the occasionally pessimistic German migration and integration debate.

 

The authors show that prevailing negativist views on the integration of migrants can be countered successfully with more sophisticated analyses of the integration of different migrant groups into different societal realms. Furthermore, their examination of the – predominantly positive – integration history of earlier centuries helps to put current short-term problems into perspective. Nevertheless their analysis has some methodological shortcomings as sometimes (negative) quantitative results are contrasted with (positive) qualitative outcomes. Finally, policy conclusions would have been preferable, for example regarding the question of what can be learned from integration processes in previous centuries for integration problems of today.

 

This review is part of the discussion forum 'Winnaars en verliezers' (Leo Lucassen and Jan Lucassen).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8153
How to Cite: Kortmann, M., 2012. Countering Integration Pessimists: New Differentiation for the Integration Debates. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 127(3), pp.74–82. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8153
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Published on 01 Oct 2012.

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