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Trajectories of Multiculturalism in Germany, the Netherlands and Canada: In Search of Common Patterns 1

  • Elke Winter

Abstract

In the mid-1990s, Canadian scholarship introduced an important distinction between historically incorporated national minorities and ethnic groups emerging from recent immigration. While the former may be accommodated through federal or multinational arrangements, multiculturalism has come to describe a normative framework of immigrant integration. The distinction between these analytically different types of movements is crucial for Taylor's and Kymlicka's influential theories, but the relations between different types of national and ethnic struggles for rights and recognition have remained unexplored in much of the subsequent scholarly literature. This article starts from a theoretical position where different types of diversity are viewed as highly interdependent in practice. Tracing the trajectories of multiculturalism in three different countries, the article aims to identify common patterns of how changing relations between traditionally incorporated groups affect public perceptions of and state responses to more recent immigration-induced diversity. More specifically, it asks the following question: to what extent does the absence (in Germany), discontinuation (in the Netherlands) and exacerbation (in Canada) of claims on ethnocultural grounds by traditionally incorporated groups influence the willingness of the national majority/ies to grant multicultural rights to immigrants?

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1

The research for this article has been made possible by Government and Opposition's Ghi?a Ionescu Travel Scholarship for the Study of Comparative Politics. It is part of a larger project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). I am grateful for comments by members of the SIAS group on Migration and Citizenship (Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin), the Canadian Network for the Study of Identities, Mobilisation and Conflict, as well as by the journal's anonymous reviewers. The usual disclaimers apply: all errors and shortcomings are mine.

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2 Taylor, C., Reconciling the Solitudes. Essays on Canadian Federalism and Nationalism, ed. Laforest, G., Kingston, Montreal, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993, p. 183 .

3 Kymlicka, W., Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995, p. 9 .

4 Ibid., p. 6.

5 Ibid., p. 96.

6 Breton, R., ‘Institutional Completeness of Ethnic Communities and Personal Relations of Immigrants’, American Journal of Sociology, 70 (1964), pp. 193205 .

7 Kymlicka, W., ‘Being Canadian’, Government and Opposition, 38: 3 (2003), pp. 357–85.

8 See, for example, R. Máiz and F. Requejo (eds), Democracy, Nationalism and Multiculturalism, London and New York, Frank Cass, 2005.

9 For the theoretical rationale of this position, see Winter, E., ‘How Does the Nation Become Pluralist?’, Ethnicities, 7: 4 (2007), pp. 483515 .

10 See, for example, Kymlicka, W., ‘Marketing Canadian Pluralism in the International Arena’, International Journal, 59: 4 (2004), pp. 829–52.

11 Winter, E., ‘Neither “America” nor “Québec”: Constructing the Canadian Multicultural Nation’, Nations and Nationalism, 13: 3 (2007), pp. 481503 .

12 Joppke, C., ‘Multiculturalism and Immigration: A Comparison of the United States, Germany and Great Britain’, in Jacobson, D. (ed.), The Immigration Reader. America in a Multidisciplinary Perspective, Oxford and Malden, MA, Blackwell, 1998, p. 300 .

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid., p. 302, emphasis in original.

15 The Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz, implemented in 1913, defines citizenship exclusively upon descent (ius sanguinis).

16 F. Heckmann, ‘From Ethnic Nation to Universalistic Immigrant Integration: Germany’, in F. Heckmann and D. Schnapper (eds), The Integration of Immigrants in European Societies: National Differences and Trends of Convergence, Bamberg and Stuttgart, European Forum for Migration Studies (EFMS), Lucius & Lucius, 2003.

17 At the age of 23, these children have to decide whether they want to remain Germans or take up the citizenship passed down to them by their parents.

18 Gerdes, J. and Faist, T., ‘Von ethnischer zu republikanischer Integration. Der Diskurs um die Reform des deutschen Staatsangehörigkeitsrechts’, Berliner Journal für Soziologie, 3 (2006), pp. 313–35.

19 Ibid.

20 Manz, S., ‘Constructing a Normative National Identity: The Leitkultur-Debate in Germany, 2000/2001’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 25: 5/6 (2004), pp. 481–96.

21 See, for example, S. Green, The Politics of Exclusion: Institutions and Immigration Policy in Contemporary Germany, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 2004.

22 Guiraudon, V., Phalet, K. and Ter Wal, J., ‘Monitoring Ethnic Minorities in the Netherlands’, International Social Science Journal, 57: 183 (2005), p. 75 .

23 H. Vermeulen and R. Penninx (eds), Immigrant Integration: The Dutch Case, Amsterdam, Het Spinhuis, 2000, p. 28.

24 Dutch Government, Minderhedennota, The Hague, Staatsdrukkerij, 16102: 20–1 (1983), p. 12, my translation.

25 Entzinger, H., ‘Changing the Rules While the Game is On: From Multiculturalism to Asssimilation in the Netherlands’, in Bodemann, M. Y. and Yurdakul, G. (eds), Migration, Citizenship, Ethnos, New York, Palgrave, 2006, p. 121 .

26 Vink, M. P., ‘Dutch “Multiculturalism” Beyond the Pillarization Myth’, Political Studies Review, 5 (2007), pp. 337–50.

27 Vasta, E., ‘From Ethnic Minorities to Ethnic Majority Policy: Multiculturalism and the Shift to Assimilationism in the Netherlands’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30: 5 (2007), pp. 713–40.

28 V. M. Bader, Secularism or Democracy? Associational Governance of Religious Diversity, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2007.

29 P. Resnick, Thinking English Canada, Toronto, Stoddart, 1994.

30 Government of Canada, Multiculturalism Program: The Context for Renewal, Ottawa, Government of Canada, 1997.

31 McAndrew, M., ‘La politique canadienne du multiculturalisme tourne à l'antiracisme’, Forum, 39: 17 (2005), p. 1 , my translation.

32 Karim, K. H., ‘The Multiculturalism Debate in Canadian Newspapers: The Harbinger of a Political Storm?’, Journal for International Migration and Integration (RIMI), 3: 3/4 (2002), p. 454 .

33 D. Dasko, ‘Public Attitudes Towards Multiculturalism and Bilingualism in Canada’, paper presented at the conference Canadian and French Perspectives on Diversity, 16 October 2003, available at http://www.queensu.ca/cora/_files/diversity_dasko.pdf.

34 McAndrew, M., Helly, D. and Tessier, C., ‘Pour un débat éclairé sur la politique canadienne du multiculturalisme: une analyse de la nature des organismes et des projets subventionnés (1983–2002)’, Politique et Sociétés, 24: 1 (2005), pp. 4971 .

35 Potvin, M., ‘Some Racist Slips about Québec in English Canada Between 1995 and 1998’, Canadian Ethnic Studies, 32: 2 (2000), p. 2 .

36 Ibid., p. 19.

37 Lacombe, S., ‘La perception du souverainisme québécois dans le Globe and Mail dix ans après le référendum de 1995: du syndrome post-traumatique au repli légaliste’, Canadian Journal of Media Studies, 2: 1 (2007), pp. 139 .

38 In the aftermath of the 1995 referendum, Quebec's Premier Jacques Parizeau blamed ‘money and the ethnic vote’ (meaning anglophone Québécois and immigrants) for losing the referendum. Québécois of all origins criticized Parizeau's statement and forced him to resign.

39 Winter, E., ‘Les logiques du multiculturalisme dans les sociétés multi-nationales: une analyse des discours canadiens’, Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales, 24: 3 (2008), pp. 729 .

40 In Weber's interpretive sociology, causal relationships are always complex and multifaceted, as social action is never predetermined.

41 I am indebted to one of the anonymous reviewers, whose helpful comments allowed me to clarify my argument in this matter.

42 Stojanovic, N., ‘Direct Democracy: A Risk or an Opportunity for Multicultural Societies? The Experience of the Four Swiss Multilingual Cantons’, International Journal on Multicultural Societies, 8: 2 (2006), pp. 183202 .

43 Helbling, M., ‘Variations Across Space, Persistance Over Time’, Canadian Diversity Diversite canadienne, 6: 4 (2008), p. 123 .

44 Palmer, H., ‘Mosaic versus Melting Pot? Immigration and Ethnicity in Canada and the United States’, International Journal, 31: 6 (1975), p. 516 .

45 Entzinger, ‘Changing the Rules’, p. 124.

46 As must the question of to what extent Pierre Trudeau's multiculturalism policy was a political strategy to outmanoeuvre Québécois nationalism. See K. McRoberts, Misconceiving Canada. The Struggle for National Unity, Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1997.

47 Spoonley, P., ‘Multicultural Challenges in a Bicultural New Zealand’, Canadian Diversity Diversité canadienne, 4: 1 (2005), p. 22 .

48 F. d. Hertog, Minderheit im eigenen Land? Zur gesellschaftlichen Position der Ostdeutschen in der gesamtdeutschen Realität, Frankfurt am Main and New York, Campus Verlag, 2004.

49 Jacobs, D., ‘Belgium and its Struggle with Citizenship’, Canadian Diversity Diversité canadienne, 6: 4 (2008), p. 30 .

1 The research for this article has been made possible by Government and Opposition's Ghi?a Ionescu Travel Scholarship for the Study of Comparative Politics. It is part of a larger project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). I am grateful for comments by members of the SIAS group on Migration and Citizenship (Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin), the Canadian Network for the Study of Identities, Mobilisation and Conflict, as well as by the journal's anonymous reviewers. The usual disclaimers apply: all errors and shortcomings are mine.

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Trajectories of Multiculturalism in Germany, the Netherlands and Canada: In Search of Common Patterns 1

  • Elke Winter

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