Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion: Selective Solidarity in Western Democracies

By Edward A. Koning

© 2019

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 307 pages
  • Illustrations: 20
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.7in x 9.1in
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SKU# SP005401

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2019

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  • PUBLISHED APR 2019

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Quick Overview

Why do some governments try to limit immigrants’ access to social benefits and entitlements? This book reveals that such efforts have little to do with economic pressures but rather result from a political climate that rewards a punitive approach to immigration and multiculturalism.

Immigration and the Politics of Welfare Exclusion: Selective Solidarity in Western Democracies

By Edward A. Koning

© 2019

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 307 pages
  • Illustrations: 20
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.7in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    "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
  • Author Information

    Edward A. Koning is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph.
  • Table of contents

    List of Abbreviations
    Introduction

    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

    Conclusions

    Appendix Tables
    List of Interviews
    Works Cited
    Endnotes