Securitization and Integration
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Do security-driven policies serve the goal of enhancing immigrant integration or do they act as a mechanism for exclusion? Does securitization enhance a sense of national belonging, and more importantly in the current context of “ontological insecurity,” does it secure the loyalty of immigrants and natives born of foreign descent? Or does it push immigrants and their children toward separation, marginalization, and, ultimately, radicalization? In addressing these questions, I analyze the actual outcomes of securitization in the context of reception in various host societies. I argue that the paradox of the securitization of integration is that more integrative policies have been implemented (because of the fears raised by a lack of integration as a source of insecurity): yet these actually provided fewer opportunities to integrate (fuelling suspicion against immigrants and their descendants). Furthermore, the “integration paradox” suggests that the common indicators for integration (such as educational achievements, occupation, or ethnoracial and cultural factors) do not—and cannot—fully explain the behavior of those who are suspected of posing a threat. Targeted immigrants and minorities are not “passive agents” whose actions are determined by the host society context (e.g., immigration policies, treatment of illegal immigrants) and the societal context (e.g., institutional arrangements in education, the labor market, housing, religion, and legislation).
KeywordsSocial Capital National Identity Religious Attendance Subjective Social Status Group Consciousness
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