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Title:The political and socioeconomic effects of international migration: The German case
Author(s):Chapin, Wesley D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kolodziej, Edward A.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Economics, Labor
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:Immigration is a highly controversial and timely topic. Domestically, it affects elections, party politics, and policy-making. Internationally, it shapes relations between states and foreign policies. The dissertation seeks to add constructively to the debates regarding migration by evaluating its socioeconomic and political effects. The findings indicate that the relationship between migration and unemployment is unclear. The results show, however, that crime and welfare problems have increased with the migrant population over the last two decades.
Politically, migration's effects have been several. Ethnic German resettlers and expellees had a tremendous impact on the Federal Republic's domestic and international policies, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. East German refugees were crucial factors in the decisions to raise and later destroy the Berlin Wall. Foreign migrants, including guestworkers and asylum seekers, have been blamed by many Germans for economic, social, and political problems since the 1973 Oil Shock. Subsequently, voters are increasingly likely to support anti-immigration parties like the Republikaner. This propensity is most pronounced in areas where migrants are closely associated with problems like crime. In response to these electoral results, immense efforts by the established parties appear to have temporarily limited the appeal of the Republikaner. Recent changes in the asylum laws were part of these efforts. Yet, important controversies remain. The Federal Republic still does not possess a comprehensive immigration policy, and millions of largely unintegrated foreigners remain in Germany. Until policies are adopted to deal successfully with this issue, and with escalating violence between Kurds and Turks, problems will exist.
The theoretical implications are several. Crises accompanying immigration are signs of transformations in the international economy. Immigration will continue to raise native fears, and will remain a catalyst for protest and right-wing support. Most important, it will induce traditional parties to adopt restrictive immigration policies to prevent "nationalistic reactions." International cooperation is needed to effectively manage labor and refugee flows, while simultaneously maintaining domestic peace and satisfying the electoral and democratic demands of natives.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Chapin, Wesley D.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702472
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702472

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