Which national characteristics do voluntary migrants prioritize when considering destinations? Although this question is salient for policymakers, extant studies face challenges when seeking to identify how various pull factors shape destination preferences. Surveys of migrants are typically conducted after they arrive, intro- ducing selection bias and post-hoc reasoning. Moreover, desirable national charac- teristics tend to co-vary, implying that observed relationships with migration flows may be confounded. In this article, we identify the destination preferences of pro- spective migrants by drawing on a sample of 8,500 respondents from five sending states across the Middle East and North Africa. Prospective migrants completed a series of conjoint survey tasks in which they chose between two destinations with randomly varying characteristics. The results reveal a clear hierarchy of preferences, with prospective migrants placing the greatest priority on liberal democratic gov- ernance and employment prospects. The availability of welfare benefits acted as a secondary consideration, while geographic distance and co-ethnic stock did not strongly predict initial destination preferences. While the rank order of these considerations remains consistent across national samples, our results suggest that respondents from different economic and political backgrounds vary in how they navigate potential tradeoffs between national characteristics. These findings address post-arrival bias in extant studies by revealing prospective migrants’ preferences before they interact with the opportunity structures that facilitate and restrict entry into desirable destinations.
In the aftermath of the Cold War, prominent theories of immigration regimes, including notably the work of Gary Freeman, anticipated that the liberalism of the moment would infuse the governance of human migration in the future. Although the general public might have opposed immigration, it was thought, vested interests in the policy process and international pressures for the provision of human rights would promote convergence toward a new openness to immigration. Since that time, newly available demographic data suggest that such a convergence has not yet transpired. Rather, immigration regime types (hereafter “regimes”) vary across democracies and nondemocracies, and across developing and developed economies. If there is convergence, it is toward an opposing approach that is open to immigrants but principally for the purposes of short-term work, with decreasing access to citizenship. What explains the variation that we can now observe?
This study asks: What drives divergent reactions to demographic transformation? This question has grown in salience as the politics of the United States and Western Europe react to the prospect of becoming Majority Minority states — where the native constituency of people, defined by race, ethnicity, and/or religion, loses its numerical advantage in the territory of a sovereign state. Relatively little is known about how societies govern such demographic change in the course of global history such that we may anticipate and contextualise policy responses today. To address this question, I undertake a comparative historical analysis of six Majority Minority states — Bahrain (1920–2010), the Hawaiian Kingdom (1840–1900), Mauritius (1830–1880), historic New York State (1830–1880), Singapore (1850–1970), and Trinidad and Tobago (1840–2010). Earlier historical work and contemporary attitudinal analyses have focused on the ways that popular discontent, racism, and xenophobia drive responses. However, I find that that divergent political outcomes are subject to national institutions — specficially, whether the state equally enfranchises the newcomer population and whether the government’s subsequent redefinition of the national identity is inclusive or exclusive.
Why are backlash politics so prevalent in the context of demographic change? And so that we may understand how to mitigate social conflict, what role do government and political actors play in their inflammation or reconciliation? Drawing from a larger study of six societies that have dealt with significant demographic change, I review the ways that government and political leaders’ actions can produce three different social cleavages: (1) an overriding and enduring cleavage between ethnic constituencies in national politics, (2) an overriding cleavage that is suppressed by political actors, or (3) a new definition of social cleavages that re-constructs public understandings of the nation. I find that the drivers of these different trajectories relate to state actions in the construction of national identities, which either exclude certain subgroups or absorb them into a state of coexistence. I identify five ways governments channel backlash politics towards exclusion or coexistence, and provide examples from Hawai‘i, a case where historical cleavages between natives and immigrants nearly disappeared. Ultimately, I find that these politics are subject to competing understandings of the nation – the pivotal sense of ‘we’ – that can unite or divide a multiethnic society.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) was to be “guided by human rights law and standards” in recognition of the rights of international migrants, who are currently protected by an overlapping patchwork of treaties and international law. The GCM contains many laudable commitments that, if implemented, will ensure that states more consistently respect, protect, and fulfil the rights of all migrants and also that states incorporate data on migration into a more cohesive governance regime that does more to promote cooperation on the issue of international migration. However, many concerns remain. Using a legal analysis and cross-national policy data, we find that the GCM neither fully articulates existing law nor makes use of international consensus to expand the rights of migrants. In its first section, this article provides a concise analysis of the GCM’s compliance with a set of core principles of existing international human rights law regarding migrants. In the second section, we apply a novel instrument to create an objective, cross-national accounting of the laws protecting migrants’ rights in various national legal frameworks. Focusing on a sample of five diverse destination and sending countries, the results suggest we are close to an international consensus on the protection of a core set of migrants’ rights. This analysis should help prioritize the work necessary to implement the GCM.
Following trends in Europe over the past decade, support for the Radical Right has recently grown more significant in the United States and the United Kingdom. While the United Kingdom has witnessed the rise of Radical Right fringe groups, the United States’ political spectrum has been altered by the Tea Party and the election of Donald Trump. This article asks what predicts White individuals’ support for such groups. In original, representative surveys of White individuals in Great Britain and the United States, we use an innovative technique to measure subjective social, political, and economic status that captures individuals’ perceptions of increasing or decreasing deprivation over time. We then analyze the impact of these deprivation measures on support for the Radical Right among Republicans (Conservatives), Democrats (Labourites), and Independents. We show that nostalgic deprivation among White respondents drives support for the Radical Right in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Citizenship endows legal protections and is associated with economic and social gains for immigrants and their communities. In the United States, however, naturalization rates are relatively low. Yet we lack reliable knowledge as to what constrains immigrants from applying. Drawing on data from a public/private naturalization program in New York, this research provides a randomized controlled study of policy interventions that address these constraints. The study tested two programmatic interventions among low-income immigrants who are eligible for citizenship. The first randomly assigned a voucher that covers the naturalization application fee among immigrants who otherwise would have to pay the full cost of the fee. The second randomly assigned a set of behavioral nudges, similar to outreach efforts used by service providers, among immigrants whose incomes were low enough to qualify them for a federal waiver that eliminates the application fee. Offering the fee voucher increased naturalization application rates by about 41%, suggesting that application fees act as a barrier for low-income immigrants who want to become US citizens. The nudges to encourage the very poor to apply had no discernible effect, indicating the presence of nonfinancial barriers to naturalization.
This paper introduces a method and preliminary findings from a database that systematically measures the character and stringency of immigration policies. Based on the selection of that data for nine countries between 1999 and 2008, we challenge the idea that any one country is systematically the most or least restrictive toward admissions. The data also reveal trends toward more complex and, often, more restrictive regulation since the 1990s, as well as differential treatment of groups, such as lower requirements for highly skilled than low-skilled labor migrants. These patterns illustrate the IMPALA data and methods but are also of intrinsic importance to understanding immigration regulation.
This article contributes a counter-narrative about white working-class people in the USA and the UK. It argues that the systematic and social disempowerment of white working-class people is creating a new minority group. I begin by clarifying the occasionally nebulous definition of
“working-class white” communities. I then describe the concept of “post-traumatic cities” – exurbs and urban communities that lost signature industries in the mid- to late-twentieth Century and now provide the setting of working-class white people’s marginalization. Next, I outline the more conventional moral, economic, and demographic narratives that depict the condition of working-class white people. Putting into conversation diverse literatures addressing socioeconomic inequality, minority politics, and political behavior, I then exhibit how (1) systemic, (2) psychological and rhetorical, and (3) political forces compound to institutionalize the marginalized social position of white working-class people in the USA and the UK. In the end, I argue that these forces yield a disempowered social and political status that demands the attention of minority politics scholars and alters the way we conceptualize minorities.
An emerging consensus among scholars of Muslim political and social identity suggests that Western Muslims live out an anti-essentialist critique of identity construction. Considering this view, this paper examines a cross-national comparison of British Bangladeshis in London and Spanish Moroccans in Madrid that solicits the perceptions of working-class Muslim men. While the results indeed reaffirm respondents’ concomitant relationships to a variety of identity paradigms, interview content demonstrates that subjects’ multiplicity is complicated by their desire to meet – not reject – the essentialist standards of belonging to the identity paradigms discursively available to them. Rather than defiantly cherry-picking preferred characteristics of religion, ethnicity and nationality, individuals’ responses suggest that they are trying to fulfil perceived standards of authenticity. Such a contention helps explain the prevalence of Western Muslims’ expressed and well-documented ‘identity crisis’, suggests the enduring relevance of identity essentialisms, and more broadly, complicates post-modern conceptions of identity formation.
Theories of participation and non-participation are largely unable to capture and distinguish anti-system behavior, which ranges from deliberate silence to political violence. To better understand and measure these diverse forms of citizen participation, and to distinguish these from forms of alienation and marginalization, this article builds a new model of anti-system behavior in a way that facilitates the development of empirically observable variables and hypotheses. To do so, I draw upon sociological approaches to alienation – which examine intensities of rebellion and contestation – and combine them with the standard political scientific approach – which examines intensities of engagement based on resources. The problem, I argue, is that each approach only partially explains the motivations behind aberrant political behavior in modern democratic systems; they are in fact two sides of the same coin. I consider three cases of apparent silent citizenship: Muslims in Western Europe, Roma in Eastern Europe, and white working-class people in North America and Europe.
The aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis has seen a renewed focus on the costs of economic and political inequality for democracy. Where levels of inequality are high, many citizens no longer feel that they have an effective voice in the democratic process. And, when high levels of inequality persist, these feelings of marginalization are entrenched: the perception that the democratic process is unresponsive to the needs and concerns of vulnerable citizens reinforces their unwillingness to participate. The result is an underclass of silent citizens who are unaware of public issues, lack knowledge about public affairs, do not debate, deliberate, protest, or hold office, and, most fundamentally, do not exercise their voice in elections. The goal of this special issue of Citizenship Studies is to investigate the relationship between silence and citizenship. We ask: What does silent citizenship mean in a democracy?
This article presents the methods and preliminary findings from IMPALA, a database that systematically measures the character and stringency of immigration policies. Based on a selection of data for six pilot countries between 1990 and 2008, we document the variation of immigration policies across countries and over time. We focus on three specific dimensions: the number of entry tracks for economic workers; the measurement and role of bilateral agreements that complement unilateral immigration policies, and aggregation procedures that allow for gauging the stringency of immigration regulations comparatively.
Human migration has been an important activity in human societies since antiquity. Since 1890, approximately three percent of the world’s population has lived outside of their country of origin. As globalization intensifies in the modern era, human migration persists even as governments seek to more stringently regulate flows. Understanding this phenomenon, its causes, processes and impacts often starts from measuring and visualizing its spatiotemporal patterns. This study builds a generic online platform for users to interactively visualize human migration through space and time. This entails quickly ingesting human migration data in plain text or tabular format; matching the records with pre-established geographic features such as administrative polygons; symbolizing the migration flow by circular arcs of varying color and weight based on the flow attributes; connecting the centroids of the origin and destination polygons; and allowing the user to select either an origin or a destination feature to display all flows in or out of that feature through time. The method was first developed using ArcGIS Server for world-wide cross-country migration, and later applied to visualizing domestic migration patterns within China between provinces, and between states in the United States, all through multiple years. The technical challenges of this study include simplifying the shapes of features to enhance user interaction, rendering performance and application scalability; enabling the temporal renderers to provide time-based rendering of features and the flow among them; and developing a responsive web design (RWD) application to provide an optimal viewing experience. The platform is available online for the public to use, and the methodology is easily adoptable to visualizing any flow, not only human migration but also the flow of goods, capital, disease, ideology, etc., between multiple origins and destinations across space and time.
Academics and policy makers require a better understanding of the variation of policies that regulate global migration, asylum and immigrant naturalization. At present, however, there is no comprehensive cross-national, time-series database of such policies, rendering the analysis of policy trends across and within these areas difficult at best. Several new immigration databases and indices have been developed in recent years. However, there is no consensus on how best to conceptualize, measure and aggregate migration policy indicators to allow for meaningful comparisons through time and across space. This article discusses these methodological challenges and introduces practical solutions that involve historical, multi-dimensional, disaggregated and transparent conceptualizing, measuring and compiling of cross-national immigration policies. Such an approach informs the International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) database.
Are Western Muslims integrating? Can Western Muslims integrate? Over the past 20 years, significant attention has been invested in examinations stimulated by the extensive public commentary addressing such questions. This brief review aims to demystify the examination of Western Muslims’ integration in the interest of re-embedding this subject matter in the broader scholarship about immigration and settlement. Within this expanding field of study, Western Muslims can (and should) be examined at the community level, where specific ethno-cultural groups represent but case studies among hundreds of Western Muslim communities that differ in their immigration context, countries of origin, sects, and ethno-cultural backgrounds. Simultaneously, the collection of statistical data should be used to test hypotheses that are developed in studies of such communities. The dialogue between qualitative and quantitative approaches provides research openings to more rigorously push the state of knowledge in this area, and I describe some of these openings below.