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Migration, Citizenship, and the European Welfare StateA European Dilemma$
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Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Peo Hansen, and Stephen Castles

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198280521

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0198280521.001.0001

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Germany: Immigration and Social Exclusion in a Declining Welfare State

Germany: Immigration and Social Exclusion in a Declining Welfare State

Chapter:
(p.137) six Germany: Immigration and Social Exclusion in a Declining Welfare State
Source:
Migration, Citizenship, and the European Welfare State
Author(s):

Carl-Ulrik Schierup (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198280521.003.0006

Germany has had the largest immigration of any European country: a mixture of ‘return’ of ethnic Germans and systematic recruitment of ‘temporary guestworkers’. The migrants stayed on and formed new ethnic minorities after recruitment was stopped in 1973. Yet the official line until the 1990s was that Germany was ‘not a country of immigration’. The resulting processes of ethnic segmentation and social exclusion coincided with a crisis of Germany’s strong ‘social state’, based on a regulated labour market, comprehensive social insurance, collective wage bargaining, and full employment. Exposure to global competition caused chronic unemployment, undermining the financial basis for the welfare state. The result has been a simultaneous crisis of national identity and the welfare state, with the pluralistic federal system apparently incapable of making the reforms needed to restart the economy and prevent the growth of inequality.

Keywords:   ethnic Germans, guestworkers, social exclusion, welfare state, national identity, conservative welfare state

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