Multiculturalism versus interculturalism and is it the end of open door Germany?

Multiculturalism has got a new critic: interculturalism. Professor Tariq Modood, at the University of Bristol Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, talks about his new edited book where the difference between these two ways of approaching diversity and cohesion is debated. We are also joined by Dr Timo Lochocki, Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, to discuss German refugee policy and the success of the far right.

If I’m sensitive around issues of minority identity and the risks and threats to the loss of identity, well what if some majority societies say they feel that their own cultural identities are being disrespected by government policies and by the direction of events.

Tariq Modood

As one of the most prominent proponents of multiculturalism, Tariq Modood discusses the challenges that interculturalism poses and where the future debates on diversity and cohesion may be. In a new book, Multiculturalism and Interculturalism: Debating the Dividing Lines edited by Tariq Modood, Nasar Meer and Ricard Zapata-Barrero, the questions of how different states reconcile ethnic, cultural and religious diversity to forge unity is discussed. But what is the difference between multiculturalism and interculturalism? Is there a difference between Europe and North America? Tariq argues that the experience of Quebec forces us to think about majority cultures and he also points out that in the future, multiculturalists need to think about migration also at the border.

No German government will close Germany’s borders. However, with integration policies it’s different. Here the government is very keen on addressing conservative voters who they cannot address otherwise in closing the borders.

Timo Lochocki

Last year Germany opened its borders to refugees and around one million took up the offer. Now, the Merkel government is facing a threat from the far right, anti-immigration party the Alternative for Germany (AfD). We’re joined by Timo Lochocki, who directs the German Marshall Funds’ research on diversity and party politics, to discuss what is happening in Germany. Timo argues that Germany dealt well with the large number of refugees and now when numbers are going down, the capacity is there. However, Germans are still worried about capacity, even though they do not want to close the borders. Instead, the government is making integration policies more assimilationist.


Trading rights for migration and is there any light for the displaced Rohingya?

Is there a trade-off between migration and the rights of migrants? Chris Bertram, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Bristol, and Martin Ruhs, Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, start this episode by discussing this dilemma. Next, Sarnata Reynolds, a human rights lawyer and director of Strategy for Humanity, tells us about the situation of the displaced Rohingya, who face ethnic cleansing in Myanmar (Burma).

We don’t think it would be justifiable to reduce the rights of native-born citizens for an aggregate gain in welfare and the same should go for other people who also have a moral claim to membership.

Chris Bertram

In a recent book, the economist Branko Milanovic has argued that migrants’ rights should be restricted in order to enable more migration, which in turn would reduce global inequality. Chris Bertram, who has written on the ethics of exclusion, has taken issue with this. Bertram argues hat restricting for example political rights of migrants would create an apartheid-like society.

Rather than restricting migrants’ access to the welfare state, why don’t we just change the welfare state and make it more contributory? The answer depends entirely on what perspective you are taking. Do you take a global perspective or do you take a national perspective?

Martin Ruhs

Martin Ruhs has argued in this book The Price of Rights, as well as in a recent research paper on EU migration, that there is a trade-off between openness to migration and the welfare state. He argues that welfare states that are more contributory, rather than based only on needs, find it easier to absorb more migrants.

Malaysia, as bad as it is, and it is really bad, is still considered to be better than Indonesia and Thailand. If you can get to Malaysia, you’re on your way to a better life.

Sarnata Reynolds

Last year, as thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar (Burma), fled persecution, neighbouring countries initially refused to let them in and they ended up stuck at sea. A year on, Sarnata Reynolds tell us that the situation has not improved, with the Rohingya having access to almost no rights in the countries that did let them in and there is very limited international assistance. Read more about their situation here and here.

What is the right to asylum and why are people crossing the Med?

This episode starts with a debate on the right to asylum and Europe’s response to the refugee crisis between Professor David Owen and David Goodhart, followed by an interview with Professor Heaven Crawley on new research on who is crossing the Mediterranean to Europe and why.

Europe’s bluff has been called. The EU has broadened and broadened the criteria under which people can come here. It didn’t really matter when people were locked away in prison states like Iraq and Syria. Now the prisons are open.

David Goodhart

David Goodhart is the director of the Integration Hub and former director of Demos. David Owen is Professor in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton.

Whereas David Owen puts forward the view that the entire world order of states suffers a legitimacy problem when refugees go unprotected, David Goodhart argues that it is a fantasy to talk about people having human rights when their own states are not protecting them.

Yes, we need a system of global refugee protection in place. We don’t have it. Now the question is what do we do under the present conditions. It is perfectly right that those who come to Europe get protection here.

David Owen

David Owen has made his argument about justice in international refugee protection in a recent contribution to a new book on the ethics of migration and here. David Goodhart has debated the issue here and here.

People who maybe moved to Libya for work have found themselves being caught up in a lawless situation where they effectively turn into refugees. So this idea that people are either economic migrants or refugees is challenged by our evidence.

Heaven Crawley

Heaven Crawley is Professor is chair in International Migration at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. She leads the research project MEDMIG: Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis, which she tells us about in this episode [33 minutes in]. Their first findings show that there is an increasing number of families travelling from Turkey to Greece and that people have mixed motivations for making the journeys. To read the full research briefing click here.

What Muslims might think and what’s going on in the EU

In this first ever episode of Talking migration, we talk to Professor Ruud Koopmans on attitude surveys of Muslims in Europe and to Professor Andrew Geddes on his forthcoming book The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe.

In Europe we have a strongly conservative Muslim population that is confronted with the most secular people in the world.

Ruud Koopmans

In light of the attitude survey What Muslims Really Think that ICM commissioned for British Channel 4, we talked to Professor Ruud Koopmans, who has extensive experience of studying attitudes and issues relating to ethnic diversity. The ICM survey was criticised for its methodology and the programme for how the results were reported, yet perhaps many of the results were not all that surprising.

Koopmans also discusses his research on religious fundamentalism and out-group hostility amongst Muslims and Christians in Europe. He points out that the difference between Muslims and Christians is much bigger in Europe than in the US.

The deal with Turkey is part of a wider trend of externalising migration governance.

Andrew Geddes

Geddes forthcoming book The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe, co-authored with Professor Peter Scholten, could not be more relevant. In a Europe that is seemingly tearing itself apart over asylum ans immigration politics, what is the future for cooperation? Professor Geddes provides insights about the future of Schengen, EU’s relationship with Turkey and how Europe is in a way creating the refugee crisis by its border policies. Find out more about Geddes’s research here.