Civic Integration in Western Europe: Three Debates

Joppke, Christian Georg (2017). Civic Integration in Western Europe: Three Debates. West European politics, 40(6), pp. 1153-1176. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/01402382.2017.1303252

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Since the late 1990s, civic integration has become the dominant immigrant integration policy in Western Europe. This article reviews three debates surrounding the new policy: first, whether there is policy convergence or persistent variation along national models of integration; secondly, whether civic integration marks a retreat from multiculturalism, or is merely layered on resilient multiculturalist policies; and, thirdly, whether the new policy is liberal or illiberal, and whether it entails a return of cultural assimilation. It is argued that civic integration converges cross-nationally with respect to policy goals and instruments, while extant variation is often incoherent or touching more on the form than the substance of policy; that civic integration is national-level policy that tends to coexist with ongoing de facto multiculturalism, especially at local level; and that civic integration mostly remains in a liberal register, as it is still integration and not assimilation, which would connote forced identity change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Joppke, Christian Georg


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Taylor & Francis




Marlène Breidenbach

Date Deposited:

20 Jun 2018 10:59

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2018 10:59

Publisher DOI:





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