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Migrant Integration Policies in Europe

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Dirk JACOBS (Coordinator)

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

1 The study of migration policies and immigrant integration in Europe 2 Immigration, citizenship and national models 3 Ethnic statistics 4 Migrant Integration Policy Index 5 Multiculturalism or the return of assimilation? 6 Citizenship tests and citizenship trajectories 7 Immigration, segregation and disfavoured neighbourhoods 8 Immigration and political participation 9 Social capital and political participation 10 Social capital, diversity and trust 11 Immigration and education

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

This course examines state responses to immigration in European countries. It additionally looks into the empirical issue of immigrant integration in a limited number of societal fields (notably political participation and education). The focus is not on migration regimes in a strict sense (i.e. relating to the issue of control of migration flows) but rather on integration policies after migration has taken place (often referred to in the Anglosaxon literature as ‘migrant policy’ or ‘migration policy’, although some prefer to talk about ‘integration policy’). What are international migration’s effects on European countries? The module surveys patterns and trends in European state response to international migration (especially with regard to inclusion or exclusion of immigrants once they are within Europe’s borders) and debates about the legal and social integration of immigrants (for instance access to citizenship, access to political rights, citizenship tests, etc.) and multiculturalism. The module analyses these issues in comparative context with a special interest for the ‘old migration countries’ such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries, but also tries to focus on ‘new migration countries’ in southern Europe and central/east European countries. These developments are, when relevant, placed in the context of European integration which also has important effects on migrant politics in EU member states. The objective of the course is to prepare students to be able and participate ‘at cruise speed’ in a number of central academic and policy debates on the topic of immigrant integration. There is a very close link with the research interests of the professor.

Teaching methods and learning activities

This module is taught as a special subject. The format is designed to deal with specialist and advanced issues in a forum that encourages student participation. Each week there will be a lecture. The aim of these lectures is to provide you with a framework for learning by conveying some of the basic concepts, knowledge and research results you will need to reflect upon the topics of this module. They cannot, however, be relied upon as an exclusive source of learning, and should be used merely as the starting point for private study, reflection and further reading. Each week there will also be a 50-minute seminar, which will centre on the required reading and, most importantly, will entail group discussions. For each session there is some required reading. Every student is expected to have well read the text and, hence, be able to actively participate to debate with regard to that text, and the topic at hand, during the seminar. There are also suggestions for further reading being given, but having read these articles in advance of the seminar is not required. Private study through reading is an indispensable part of this module and you should devote at least three hours per week to it. The equation is simple: the more you read then the better you are likely to do

References, bibliography, and recommended reading

No single text covers all aspects of the module. We propose required reading for each session and some additional reading. All required texts (and some suggested texts) are made available through the Université virtuelle (http://uv.ulb.ac.be). Make sure you get access to UV as soon as possible. The required and suggested reading is, of course, not a definitive guide to all the relevant library sources on migration and integration issues (especially because the reading list is severely biased: a lot of publications are my own!). Time spent browsing the library catalogue and the internet for additional sources may well pay off. Academic journals are also a very good source of information. They are particularly useful for accessing the latest research and for keeping up to date with the debates about the issues you are studying. Through the ULB-library system you have free access to a number of academic journals. Check out systems as Academic Search Elite, Article Database, JSTOR, Blackwell Synergy, Science Direct, Springer Link and Directory of Open Access Journals through the following link: http://www.bib.ulb.ac.be/fr/bibliotheque-electronique/periodiques-electroniques/index.html

Other information




Method(s) of evaluation

  • Other


There is an oral exam for this course, which accounts for 70% of the final result. You should be prepared to be examined on any part of this course (but with a special focus on the required reading – not on the suggested reading). Evaluation is, however, also done on the basis of class attendance (10%) and active participation in group discussions (20%). Please note that from week 5 onwards, attendance to the seminar is obligatory. Each student has the right to skip one session only. In order for illness to be taken into account as a legitimate reason for absence beyond this one “wild card”, a valid doctor's certificate must be supplied to verify the illness; self-certification will not be acceptable. Consideration will be given on an individual basis to any factors affecting the performance of disabled students and specific evidence will be required in order for these to be taken into account. Having a lot of other work to do is not a good justification for not having read the required texts.