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A Progressive Dilemma?: Investigating cross-country variations in family-immigration policies through the lens of welfare-state regimes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2023 (English)In: Political Research Exchange, E-ISSN 2474-736X, Vol. 5, no 1, article id 2249976Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The notion of a ‘progressive dilemma’, according to which there is an intrinsic tension between comprehensive welfare states and large-scale immigration, has figured prominently in scholarly as well as political debates over the last decade. As one of the main categories of entry in most affluent democracies, family immigration stands out as a particularly interesting test case in this context. Building on this notion of a progressive dilemma, as well as on other theorizing on the welfare-migration nexus, this study examines whether the restrictive effects of certain risk factors on family-immigration policies, such as growing immigration and rising unemployment, have been conditioned by the type of welfare regime. The empirical analysis herein finds that increasing immigration and higher unemployment have triggered policy restrictions in Basic Security welfare states, but that the influence of these factors on policy changes is less clear in State Corporatist and Universal welfare states. Contrary to what the idea of the progressive dilemma would lead us to expect, Basic Security welfare states with weaker universal and redistributive features have been more likely to sharpen restrictions on the admission of family migrants when under pressure from increasing immigration and rising unemployment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023. Vol. 5, no 1, article id 2249976
Keywords [en]
Family-immigration policies, Welfare-state regimes, Progressive dilemma, Unemployment, Immigration
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-479621DOI: 10.1080/2474736x.2023.2249976ISI: 001055219500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-479621DiVA, id: diva2:1679547
Available from: 2022-07-01 Created: 2022-07-01 Last updated: 2024-02-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing migration in modern welfare states: Essays on the development, causes, and effects of policies regulating family immigration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing migration in modern welfare states: Essays on the development, causes, and effects of policies regulating family immigration
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Being the main channel of migration into advanced industrial democracies, family migration has been the subject of increasing contestation in political debate. While previous studies have noted that many OECD countries have introduced more restrictive policies on family immigration during the last few decades, we still know little about how cross-country policy configurations in this area have evolved and varied over time, or about how policies affect inflows and why they differ between countries. This dissertation addresses these research gaps by presenting a set of integrated analyses of variations and changes in family-immigration policies across periods and countries.

Essay I presents a typology for analysing policy configurations and changes therein. It finds that admission policies on average became more restrictive over time, although there were some notable exceptions. Uncovering patterns of congruence and deviation in a more detailed way than previous research has done, this paper qualifies previous expectations about convergence, a ‘race to the bottom’, and a ‘civic turn’ in family-immigration policies. Essay II develops and tests different theories of what causes policy changes. It finds that the restrictive effects of certain risk factors on family-immigration policies, such as growing immigration and worsening economic distress, have been conditioned by the type of welfare regime. Essay III investigates whether and how much family-immigration policies have influenced patterns of family immigration in European states. While restrictive admission policies have led to falling overall levels of family immigration, the analysis reveals stratifying implications, whereby the effect have been greater where the sponsor is a non-EU citizen than where he/she is an EU citizen.

With its three-stage approach, this thesis contributes to the study of comparative migration policies. It presents new findings on the interplay between welfare states and migration policies, on the methods with which states regulate international migration, and on the differential impact of different policies on the size and composition of migrant inflows. It also adds insights on increasingly conditional forms of migration management in modern welfare states.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2022. p. 43
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 199
Keywords
Family immigration, Migration policy, Welfare state, Conditionality, Progressive dilemma, Civic integration, Stratification, Policy configurations, Eligibility criteria, Qualifying conditions, Time-series cross-country analysis, Europe, OECD
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-479625 (URN)978-91-513-1559-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-10-21, Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-09-01 Created: 2022-07-01 Last updated: 2022-09-01

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Ahlén, Anton

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