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Civic integration policies from below: accounting for processes of convergence and divergence in four European cities.

  • Academic Journal
  • Ethnic & Racial Studies; Apr2016, Vol. 39 Issue 5, p878-895, 18p
  • The introduction of integration tests on a pre-entry or post-arrival basis has drawn attention to changing national integration policies. Yet, at the local level, language and civic culture courses have often been implemented before the development of national programmes. The way these policies came into place and the extent to which they responded to similar challenges has often been overlooked. This article explores the development of these measures in four cities – Stuttgart, Vienna, Barcelona and Turin – to find out which mechanisms account for convergence in policymaking. Integration courses present traits of similarity in their contents and target groups; however, this does not imply a consistent process towards convergence. Local introduction initiatives are the product of local policy arenas, which display different policy frames of migrant integration. On the other hand, new legislation and changes in the available financial resources for integration appear to be crucial factors that trigger divergence. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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