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History of immigration

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There are of course historians in most European countries who have written on immigration. This list provides a few titles of books that have been influential to the field and also that are available in English.


Bade, Klaus 2003: Migration in European History, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Since the opening of the Iron Curtain, migration has become a major cause for concern in many European countries. However, migrations to, from and within Europe are nothing new, as Klaus J. Bade reminds us in this book. Bade presents a history of European migration over a range of eras, countries and migration types, examining the driving forces and currents of migration as well as their effects on the cultures of both migrants and host countries. He focuses mainly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, paying particular attention to the period from the end of the Second World War to the present day, and includes public perceptions of migration as well as migration policies. This emphasis on recent history enables the author to illuminate the problems that Europe is presently experiencing. The book demonstrates that the reactions of today's host populations are often alarmist, and reminds us that many Europeans are themselves descendants of earlier migrants.

Bade, Klaus 2001: Migration Past, Migration Future, Berghahn Books, Oxford.
The United States is an immigrant country. Germany is not. This volume shatters this widely held myth and reveals the remarkable similarities (as well as the differences) between the two countries. Essays by leading German and American historians and demographers describe how these two countries have become to have the largest number of immigrants among advanced industrial countries, how their conceptions of citizenship and nationality differ, and how their ethnic compositions are likely to be transformed in the next century as a consequence of migration, fertility trends, citizenship and naturalization laws, and public attitudes.

Brubaker, Roger 1998: Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
The difference between French and German definitions of citizenship is instructive and, for millions of immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and Eastern Europe, decisive. Rogers Brubaker shows how this difference between the territorial basis of the French citizenry and the German emphasis on blood descent was shaped and sustained by sharply differing understandings of nationhood, rooted in distinctive French and German paths to nation-statehood.

Hansen, Randall 2000: Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain: The Institutional Origins of a Multicultural Nation, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
In this book, the author draws extensively on archival material and theortical advances in the social sciences literature on citizenship and migration. Citizenship and Immigration in Postwar Britain examines the transformation since 1945 of the UK from a homogeneous into a multicultural society. Rejecting a dominant strain of sociological and historical inquiry emphasising state racism, Hansen argues that politicians and civil servants were overall liberal relative to a public, to which it owed its office, and pursued policies that were rational for any liberal democratic politician. He explains the trajectory of British migration and nationality policy - its exceptional liberality until the 1950s, its exceptional restrictiveness after then, and its tortured and seemingly racist definition of citizenship. The combined effect of a 1948 imperial definition of citizenship (adopted independently of immigration) and a primary commitment to migration from the Old Dominions, locked British politicians into a series of policy choices resulting in a migration and nationality regime that was not racist in intention, but was racist in effect. In the context of a liberal elite and an illiberal public, Britain's current restrictive migration policies result not from the faling of its policy-makers but those of its institutions.

Herbert, Ulrich 1990: A History of Foreign Labor in Germany 1880-1990: Seasonal Workers/Forced Laborers, Guest Workers, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI.
This book provides a comprehensive history of the recruitment of foreign labor in Germnay since 1880. It seeks to identify continuity and change in the treatment of these workers. The books examines both voluntary and forced migration to Germnay.

Lucassen, Leo 2005: The Immigrant Threat. The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe since 1850. University of Illinois Press, Champaign, IL.
Since the 1980s, anti-immigrant discourse has shifted away from the "color" of immigrants to their religion and culture, focusing on newcomers from Muslim countries who are feared as terrorists and the products of tribal societies with values fundamentally opposed to those of secular western Europe. Leo Lucassen's The Immigrant Threat tackles the question of whether it is reasonable to believe that the integration process of these new immigrants will indeed be fundamentally different in the long run (over multiple generations) from ones experienced by immigrant groups in the past. For comparison, Lucassen focuses on "large and problematic groups" from western Europe's past (the Irish in the United Kingdom,the Poles in Germany, and the Italians in France) and demonstrates a number of structural similarities in the way migrants and their descendants integrated into these nation states. Lucassen emphasizes the changed geographic sources of the "threat" and the tendency to exaggerate the threat of each successive wave of immigrants, in part because the successfully incorporated immigrants have become invisible in national histories. The book also includes a discussion of old and new migrants in the U.S.

Moch, Leslie Page 2003: Moving Europeans. Migration in Western Europe since 1650, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN.
Moving Europeans tells the story of the vast movements of people throughout Europe and examines the links between human mobility and the fundamental changes that transformed European life. This update of a classic text describes the Western European migration from the pre-industrial era to the year 2000. For this new edition, Leslie Page Moch reconsiders the 20th century in light of fundamental changes in labor, years of conflict, and the new migrations following the end of colonial empires, the fall of communism, and globalization. This new edition also features a greatly expanded and up-to-date bibliography.

Noiriel, Gérard 1996: The French Melting Pot, The University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN.
Like the United States, France is a nation of immigrants. During the past thirty years, a large influx of immigrants from southern Europe and Africa has transformed French society to the point that one-third of the people currently living there have foreign-born parents or grandparents. An incisive comparison with the United States and other countries, The French Melting Pot looks at the issues behind France's denial of its immigrant past.

Noiriel, Gérard & Horowitz, Donald L. 1992: Immigrants in two democracies, New York University Press, Ney York, NY.
International migration is often considered a relatively new development in world history. Yet, while there has been a surge in migration since World War II, the worldwide movement of peoples is a longstanding phenomenon. So, too, are the fundamental issues raised by immigration. How do immigrants fit into and affect the polity and society of the country they enter? What changes can or must the receiving state make to accomodate them? What changes in culture and ethnic indentity do immigrants undergo in their new environment? How do they relate to the mix of peoples already present in their new homeland What determines the policies that govern their reception and treatment? In this volume, edited by an American political scientist-lawyer and a leading French historian, twenty-one experts on immigration address these questions and a variety of other issues involving the experiences of immigrants in the city, at the workplace, and in schools and churches. Their essays examine the issues of nationality, citizenship, law, and politics that define the life of an immigrant population. Focusing on the United States and France, this volume is a social history and a legal and public policy study that comprehensively portrays the dilemmas immigrants present and face.

Torpey, John 1999: The Invention of the passport, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
The Invention of the passport argues that documents such as passports, internal passports and related mechanisms have been crucial in making distinctions between citizens and noncitizens. It explains how the concept of citizenship has been used over the past 200 years to delineate rights and penalties regarding property, liberty, taxes and welfare. Focusing on the United States and Western Europe, it combines theory and empirical data in questioning how and why states have established the exclusive right to authorize and regulate the movement of people.


Morawska, Ewa 2001: “Structuring Migration: The Case of Polish Income-Seeking Travelers to the West”, Theory and Society, Vol 30 (1), pp. 47-80.
This article proposes the conceptualization of migration as a structuration Process. The article also integrates theory-building effort in the study of international migration with mainstream sociological theorizing of the “micro-macro link”.