The Troika of Sociology, Political Science and Economics
Edited by Gert Tingaard Svendsen and Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen
Chapter 18: Making Integration Work
Peter Nannestad Introduction Over the last 25 years most Western European welfare states have experienced a rather dramatic increase in number of immigrants, especially from non-western, less developed countries.1 Consequently, the question of how to integrate2 these immigrants into the economic, social and cultural fabric of the receiving countries is now a highly prioritized political and societal concern practically everywhere. A survey of the outcomes of various integration policies designed and implemented in Western European welfare states results in a rather dismal picture. While diﬀerent integration models and approaches are adhered to in diﬀerent countries, the outcomes generally tend to fall short of expectations. The bare facts seem to be that labour market participation rates among nonwestern immigrants tend to lag far behind those of natives, their unemployment rates tend to be markedly higher, and the wage gap between immigrants and natives remains substantive even after many years of residence. As a consequence, non-western immigrants tend to be strongly overrepresented among welfare recipients. This is especially marked in universalistic welfare states with generous beneﬁt levels. Likewise, social integration appears fragile at best, as witnessed by strong segregationist tendencies – not least in housing and education – and the quite low rates of out-group marriages observed in non-western immigrant groups in many Western European countries. As far as can be judged from available data, crime rates in certain non-western immigrant groups also tend to exceed those in the native population, indicating problems of anomia in these groups. Lately, terrorist attacks...
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