Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion: Selective Solidarity in Western Democracies
Published: March 2019© 2019
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
Page Count: 307 Pages
Illustrations: 20 b&w illustrations, 28 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.10 x 9.10
307 Pages, 6.10 x 9.10 x 0.70 in, 20 b&w illustrations, 28 b&w tables
Why do some governments try to limit immigrants’ access to social benefits and entitlements while others do not? Through an in-depth study of Sweden, Canada, and the Netherlands, Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion maps the politics of immigrants’ social rights in Western democracies. To achieve this goal, Edward A. Koning analyzes policy documents, public opinion surveys, data on welfare use, parliamentary debates, and interviews with politicians and key players in the three countries.
Koning’s findings are three-fold. First, the politics of immigrant welfare exclusion have little to do with economic factors and are more about general opposition to immigration and multiculturalism. Second, proposals for exclusion are particularly likely to arise in a political climate that incentivizes politicians to appear "tough" on immigration. Finally, the success of anti-immigrant politicians in bringing about exclusionary reforms depends on the response of the political mainstream, and the extent to which immigrants’ rights are protected in national and international legal frameworks.
A timely investigation into an increasingly pressing subject, Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion will be essential reading for scholars and students of political science, comparative politics, and immigration studies.
List of Abbreviations
1. Theorizing Immigrant-Excluding Welfare Reforms
The Progressive’s Dilemma: Immigration versus the Welfare State?
Immigrant-Excluding Welfare Reforms (and Their Alternatives)
The Political Translation of Economic Facts
Forces of Continuity: Institutionalizing Immigrants’ Social Rights
Forces of Change: Contesting Immigrants’ Social Rights
2. The Limits of Economic Explanations
Immigrant Welfare Use and Public Opinion
Immigrant Welfare Use and Support for Welfare Exclusion in Three Countries
3. Sweden: Universalism, Even for Newcomers?
A Story of Gradual Inclusion
Framing Welfare Dependence as Utanförskap
Anti-Migrant Politics in the Margins, but for How Long?
4. Canada: Stability in a Country of Immigrants
Continuation of the Canadian Model of Immigration and Welfare
Faulty Admission and ‘Bogus’ Claimants: Framing Immigrants’ Welfare Dependence
Political Battles at the Margins of the Canadian Model
5. The Netherlands: The Sudden Surge of Selective Solidarity
A Recent History of Immigrant-Excluding Welfare Reforms
From Taboo to Cliché: Increasing Concerns about Immigrants’ Welfare Reliance
Reaching the Boundaries of Exclusion
List of Interviews
"Economic rationales do not support excluding immigrants from social benefits and services, argues Edward A. Koning in this compelling comparative study. Instead, politics and political logics explain why some countries go much further than others in reducing or eliminating immigrants’ access to social rights."Willem Maas, York University, Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies
"This is a first-rate piece of scholarship. Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion is well-written, well-researched, methodologically sound and, most importantly, original. It intersects and scrutinizes several important scholarly literatures regarding the politics of immigrant welfare exclusion and, more broadly, the politics of the domestic welfare state in Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands in the aftermath of mass immigrant settlement over time."Anthony M. Messina, John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut
"Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion is an interesting contribution to the literature on immigrants’ social rights and is convincingly presented as an original and innovative contribution to the present state of research. The subject is extremely topical in contemporary Western democracies which, together with the comprehensible style and manner of analysis, is a promise that this book will be of use not only for scholars in the field, but also as a text book in various university courses in political science, sociology, and related areas."Karin Borevi, School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Stockholm