The civil war in Syria, which has driven a large number of that country’s population to emigrate, and the multiple crises flaring up all over Africa and the Middle East have further fuelled the debates on European migration policies and on attitudes toward that influx of migrants both across the union and in the different member states. For Europeans, this means finding responses by which they can reconcile their historic humanitarian values with the inherent limitations on their ability to cope with taking in and integrating these groups of people. In this article, Jean-François Drevet shows what a difficult exercise this is, not only for the Union (for example, in its relations with Turkey), but also with regard to public opinion in the various countries (less and less favourable to receiving migrants) and at the political level (particularly where the integration of Muslim communities is concerned). This column, which was written before the Paris attacks and before the ensuing debates on how to deal with “radicalized” people of foreign origin, remains wholly pertinent on these migration issues and its author cannot be accused of writing under the influence of those tragic events.
Après l’annonce par la Hongrie d’un projet de construction d’un mur anti-migrants le long de sa frontière avec la Roumanie , c’est au tour de l’Autriche de vouloir fermer « physiquement » sa frontière avec la Slovénie . Loin d’être une exception, ces pays s’inscrivent dans une tendance qui a commencé suite aux événements du 11 septembre 2001 : en 1989, le monde comptait une dizaine de murs ; fin 2014, il en comptait 59 ! Aujourd’hui ...
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La ségrégation des populations d’origine étrangère est souvent présentée comme un phénomène de plus en plus marqué sur le territoire français, alors que peu de données permettent de l’appréhender globalement. Une récente étude de l’INED (Institut national d’études démographiques) montre que, s’il s’agit bien d’une réalité pour certaines populations, la « ségrégation spatiale », selon les termes de l’INED, a pourtant tendance à diminuer depuis 50 ans, surtout pour les descendants d’immigrés.
With his book Le Déni des cultures (Paris: Seuil, 2010), the sociologist Hugues Lagrange sparked off a polemic within France. Having established, through local studies, that young people from Sahelian Africa were overrepresented in criminal activity in France, he explained this phenomenon mainly in terms of cultural factors, including lack of independence on the part of women, paternal authoritarianism and polygamy. These factors are themselves aggravated by the reception France affords its immigrants.
Michèle Tribalat, a demographer specializing in ethnic and migratory issues, has read this work for Futuribles and presents her analysis of it here. Though she finds the importance of cultural factors well supported by the local analysis, she rejects the findings that morals in Europe have become less liberal and borders increasingly closed. Migratory flows and the proportion of persons of foreign origin in the population actually increased in many European countries during the years 1990-2000. Tribalat argues that it is this real development and the attendant conflicts over modes of life and values that explain a rise in ethnic tensions, including in states with a reputation for tolerance, such as the Nordic countries. However, underlying these tensions there is often an appeal to the importance of the principles on which liberal democracies are based. Michèle Tribalat is astonished at Hugues Lagrange’s advocacy of greater multiculturalism, given the picture he has himself established of the devastating effects of certain specific cultural characteristics.
Late 2006 saw the publication of an important work on the life of immigrants in France, L'Enracinement. Enquête sur le vieillissement des immigrés en France (Paris: Armand Colin, October 2006), by Claudine Attias-Donfut, which describes the ageing and life-cycles of long-term foreign residents in France. Based on an extensive survey, the first of its kind in France, on immigrants entering retirement and on their life-courses (carried out by the National Retirement Insurance Authority), the book broaches many questions that are essential to grasping the situation of these populations and their integration, including economic activity, standard of living, occupational integration, social networks, health, inter-generational solidarities, religion, financial transfers etc.
Immigration is a developmental process and can be properly understood in detail only in historical perspective and over time - the time it takes for people to put down roots by starting a family, building a career and social networks etc. This is why this book is important, taking as it does a long-term view of France's immigrants. Hedva Sarfati draws the main lessons from a study which, at least partially, makes up for the painful lack of data in this area in France.
In April 2000, Futuribles published an article by Nicholas Eberstadt warning of the risks of serious problems in Russia arising from the declining health of the Russian population and the demographic consequences; his analysis seems so far to be accurate. In this issue we are publishing another article by Nicholas Eberstadt, devoted this time to population change in the United States, which he says is the demographic exception because its population growth sets it apart from the other major industrialized countries.
First he describes the exceptionally high fertility rates of American women (a long-term trend that he reckons is likely to continue and perhaps even become stronger) compared with European rates and he outlines the factors that may explain this difference. He goes on to discuss the special contribution of immigration in the American case and the influence that this migration model continues to have on strong population growth. Lastly, extrapolating from the trends that he has described, Nicholas Eberstadt suggests several possible trends for American demographics between now and 2025: he stresses in particular the growing gap between the United States and Europe with regard to population change and the possible economic and geopolitical consequences that this may have.
In this article, Michèle Tribalat examines the consequences of migration for inter-cultural relations in European receiving countries. As she stresses, "in most European societies, immigration has brought about a growing ethno-cultural and religious diversity that is now generating anxiety and discussion about national identity and cohesion". Yet this diversity is likely to increase, partly because of growing demand in the receiving countries (linked to the ageing of their populations), but partly for more political reasons (inflows that are hard to limit because of humanitarian considerations: asylum seekers, family members, etc.).
Michèle Tribalat goes on to discuss the difficulties arising from concentrations of people of foreign origin in the traditional immigration countries (France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, for example) - in particular a certain type of segregation that becomes greater over time and the impact that this may have in shaping the perception of minorities by the native-born population and the special demands made by communities of foreign origin. Finally, the author looks at the ways in which European countries respond, or try to respond, to this cultural diversity: as nationalist sentiments decline, it is less and less straightforward to establish workable policies on immigration (apart from those based solely on demographic factors), but it is nevertheless indispensable in order to avoid ever greater divisions within societies.
At the end of November 2004 a report was published in France, produced by Claude Bébéar at the request of the prime minister, on discrimination by firms. In particular, the report showed evidence of undoubted discrimination against foreigners or people of foreign descent with regard to hiring, and it called for a radical change in attitudes.
Michèle Tribalat is a researcher at INED ("Institut national d'études démographiques") and the author of one of the most recent studies to investigate ethnic criteria that provides statistical evidence on the true extent of discrimination in France (1992). She discusses the present position with regard to combating discrimination in this country (against minorities, women, the handicapped, etc.), and shows in particular how much France relies heavily on a "hyperjuridical" and global approach to the problem, being generally content to pass legislation and apply (without great zeal) EU directives. She stresses the lack of any real political will to measure how much discrimination there is: no satisfactory statistical tools exist, not even in employment, which is an area where using existing surveys would, without involving major difficulties, yield studies based on actual figures.
By contrast, the United States - which has been very active in combating discrimination since the 1960s - has been highly pragmatic and this has allowed the Americans to measure what has in fact been happening. Michèle Tribalat presents here, as an example, the way they gather data relating to the employment of women and minorities in American firms, and shows how this could be transposed to France. However, apart from the periodic bursts of interest in this issue, do the French really want to have such statistical information? Are we ready to abandon the current global approach and tackle the problem at a more refined level (employment, housing, etc.)?
Cet article, paru dans la revue Foreign Policy dont Samuel Huntington est un des fondateurs, diagnostique un " culture clash " au sein de la société américaine à l'image du " civilization clash " qui a rendu célèbre le professeur de Harvard (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York : Simon and Schuster, 1996, 368 p.). Selon lui, en effet, " la division culturelle entre les Hispaniques et les anglo-protestants pourrait remplacer la division raciale entre les Noirs et les ...
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At the request of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute for Research into Development (IRD) brought together a panel experts to investigate what is really happening as regards the growing tendency of bright people to move from South to North (usually first in order to study) and then to form networks. How do these diasporas organize themselves? Does this offset the loss of skills triggered by their departure from their countries of origin and does it make sense to encourage the formation of these networks, for example through appropriate public policies? The responses to these varied questions, as well as others, are presented in a report entitled Diasporas scientifiques (Paris: IRD Éditions, 2003). Rémi Barré, one of the contributors, presents the main conclusions.
What are the main factors underlying international migration? Are the flows determined by very different patterns of population growth in the North and the South, or by economic and social disparities? According to Douglas S. Massey, migration flows are directly related to globalization and to the increased flows of capital, goods and services.
As proof, he takes the case of the United States, where there have been two periods of very high immigration: first from 1800 to 1914, when immigration was directly correlated with the growth of foreign trade; and then since World War II and above all the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the rise of globalization, again clearly linked to the strong growth in foreign trade.
The difference between these two periods is that at the beginning of the 20th century, immigration was quite acceptable to the receiving country, whereas now the US tries to control it -albeit without much success. Another difference is that in the first period of globalization, the immigrants came from Europe, whereas now they come from America's main trading partners: Mexico, the Philippines, China...
In conclusion, Massey stresses that the growth of international migration cannot be halted and is directly linked to the phenomenon of global trade. He also argues that the immigrants in future will come not from the poorest and most populous countries but from countries with the highest levels of international trade.
The United States, the great melting-pot, is the archetypal model of how to assimilate immigrant communities. Richard Alba looks here at how these immigrants become integrated and their impact on American society.
The assimilation of the current wave of immigration into the United States is dominated by multiculturalism and racial and ethnic stratification. The three traditional models of integration -"assimilation", "racialization" and "pluralism"- are changing rapidly. Today, integration is occurring in spatial terms as groups of immigrants move out of ethnic minority neighbourhoods into middle class residential areas where the majority population is white. In addition, integration is altering the mainstream (ethnic majority), which is taking on some of the immigrants' characteristics. In this way the distinctively ethnic characteristics are gradually disappearing. Lastly, among the latest generations of children of immigrants, many processes are at work to foster mobility (economic, social and cultural), and these are helping to blur the boundaries between ethnic groups.
In the future, the racial and social segmentation of American society could well become less marked, above all as a result of increasing numbers of mixed marriages and greater acceptance of mixed ancestry.
However, Alba concludes, the blurring of boundaries will depend on how well educated the immigrants are, their ethnic characteristics and geographical distribution. How well people are integrated will vary from group to group, and racial and social inequalities are likely to persist in American society.
L'immigration est-elle la solution aux futurs problèmes démographiques européens ? Sans doute, si l'on en croit cet article qui tente d'analyser quantitativement les effets des tendances migratoires futures sur la croissance et l'âge de la population de l'Europe des 15 d'ici à 2050. Il s'agit d'une comparaison de ces tendances avec celles des taux de fécondité et de mortalité au sein de cette zone, afin de savoir jusqu'où équilibrer la baisse des ...
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A l'horizon 2020, la baisse de la population en âge de travailler ne pourra être compensée ni par la poursuite de la hausse de la fécondité ni par le relèvement du taux d'emploi des salariés les plus âgés. Face à cette perspective, le Conseil économique et social propose d'envisager autrement le futur de l'immigration en France et en Europe et d'articuler une politique d'asile conforme aux conventions internationales et à notre Constitution, une politique ...
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Bon nombre d'économistes et d'organisations internationales considèrent que l'immigration sélective permet d'atténuer ou de résorber les déséquilibres internes sur le marché du travail, que ces déséquilibres soient de nature qualitative (inadéquation entre l'offre et la demande de qualification) ou de nature quantitative (variations de la demande et de l'offre de travail). Cet article dresse un portrait synthétique des enjeux de l'immigration sélective pour les pays d'accueil et les pays d'origine, et ...
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Population growth in European countries -as in any region- depends on both natural increase (the difference between births and deaths) and, to a large extent, on migration flows, i.e. the net outcome of residents leaving and people arriving, whether from within Europe or from outside. It is therefore extremely important to measure these flows accurately and, since the aim is to control them, to try to anticipate or at least understand the factors that may be driving or restraining them.
Unfortunately, according to Michel Poulain and Anne Herm, our knowledge of the flows within the European Union and of immigration from other countries is remarkably hazy -even though accurate knowledge is an obvious prerequisite for any ultimate agreement on a common migration policy- because the methods used for measuring flows are not altogether satisfactory and differ from country to country. For example, the authors point out, the estimates of the number of Italian immigrants in Belgium differ widely depending on which country's statistics you use.
Michel Poulain and Anne Herm present a sometimes surprising description of the methods used to measure international mobility, stressing the practical problems, the uncertainties surrounding the figures currently collected, indeed the real oddities that can occur.
In the second section, while bearing in mind the difficulties with the available statistics, the authors present an overview of the main trends within the European Union, focusing first on the size of the foreign populations in each of the member states and then on the special features of migration flows into Europe from outside.
While the growth of population flows within Europe augur well for greater European unity, the authors nevertheless conclude that there is an urgent need for more reliable data on international migration and, furthermore, this will be achieved only if there is a clear policy for the EU as a whole. Unfortunately, in this area even more than others, there is a regrettable tendency among the member states to shy away from the problem, doubtless for fear that the truth might be too disturbing.