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Religious Legacies, Churches, and the Shaping of Immigration Policies in the Age of Religious Diversity

  • Michael Minkenberg (a1)

Abstract

Western democracies are undergoing a process of extraordinary religious and cultural pluralization which is largely a result of an intensified immigration over the last decades. This article analyzes in a structural and an actor-oriented perspective the way in which religion affects the immigration policies in 19 Western democracies. Based on a typology of immigration regimes in 19 Western democracies, the article asks what role Christian legacies (Catholic and Protestant traditions, church-state regimes, Christian parties) and churches (both Catholic and Protestant) play in bringing about particular immigration policies. It follows the “family of nations” concept in comparative policy research (F. Castles) and argues that the interplay of nation building, religious traditions and church-state-relations affect churches' role in the making of immigration policy. This role signifies a disjuncture between the countries' general patterns of religious traditions and immigration policies on the one hand, and the actual policy positions and effects of churches on the other.

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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Michael Minkenberg. E-mail: mm1807@nyu.edu

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