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Managing migration in modern welfare states: Essays on the development, causes, and effects of policies regulating family immigration
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1412-7873
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Description
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-479625ISBN: 978-91-513-1559-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-479625DiVA, id: diva2:1679577
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
List of papers
1. Development Trends in Family-Immigration Policies in Europe: Convergence, a ‘Race to the Bottom’, or a ‘Civic Turn’?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development Trends in Family-Immigration Policies in Europe: Convergence, a ‘Race to the Bottom’, or a ‘Civic Turn’?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous studies of family-migration policy have pointed to growing policy restrictiveness in European countries, seen as related to broader trends in policies on migration and the integration of immigrants (such as convergence, a ‘race to the bottom’, or a ‘civic turn’). Still, no comprehensive cross-country comparison has so far been done that accounts for the varying policy configurations and differing levels of conditionality integral to family-immigration policies. This paper presents a typology for analysing policy configurations and changes therein, based on a two-dimensional conceptualization that distinguishes between eligibility criteria (EC) and qualifying conditions (QC). Analysing different policy changes, variations, and configurations, the paper maps how admission policies developed across 20 European countries between 1990 and 2010. The results show that admission policies on average became more restrictive over time, although there were some notable exceptions. The trend was towards reduced variation in both EC and QC. However, my analysis reveals substantial differences in the policy configurations of different countries; some policy changes go against the common trend. Uncovering patterns of congruence and deviation in a more detailed way than previous research has done, this paper challenges expectations about convergence, a ‘race to the bottom’, and a ‘civic turn’ in family-immigration policies and suggests that these expectations need to be qualified.

Keywords
Family-immigration policies, Eligibility criteria, Qualifying conditions, Policy configurations, Convergence, ‘Race to the bottom’, ‘Civic turn’
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-479589 (URN)
Available from: 2022-07-01 Created: 2022-07-01 Last updated: 2022-07-01
2. A Progressive Dilemma?: Investigating cross-country variations in family-immigration policies through the lens of welfare-state regimes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Progressive Dilemma?: Investigating cross-country variations in family-immigration policies through the lens of welfare-state regimes
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
Keywords
Family-immigration policies, Welfare-state regimes, Progressive dilemma, Unemployment, Immigration
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-479621 (URN)10.1080/2474736x.2023.2249976 (DOI)001055219500001 ()
Available from: 2022-07-01 Created: 2022-07-01 Last updated: 2024-02-23Bibliographically approved
3. A Stratified Right to Family (Re)Unification: Evidence on the Differential Effects of Admission Policies on Rates of Family Immigration in European states, 2008–2019
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Stratified Right to Family (Re)Unification: Evidence on the Differential Effects of Admission Policies on Rates of Family Immigration in European states, 2008–2019
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates whether and how much family-immigration policies have influenced patterns of family immigration in European states. Family immigration has been the largest category of entry in many Western countries in recent decades, and it has been the subject of increasing contestation in political debates. While research on family-migration policies has advanced in recent years, no comprehensive cross-country comparisons have been done of the impact of different policies on the size and composition of family-immigrant inflows. This study addresses this gap, by analysing the connection between admission policies and rates of family immigration in 31 European states during the 2008–2019 period. Combining data from Eurostat and the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), this study uses a time-series regression analysis to assess the effects of admission policies on different types of family-related immigration. While restrictive admission policies have led to falling overall levels of family immigration, the analysis here 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. An interaction analysis, moreover, shows that restrictive admission policies have a greater impact on family-immigration rates in countries with comparatively large immigrant populations. By providing evidence on the differential and conditional impacts of admission policies on family-related immigration, this study contributes new insights on the effects of restrictive immigration policies.

Keywords
Family migration, Admission policies, Stratification, European countries, Time-series cross-country analysis
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-479622 (URN)
Available from: 2022-07-01 Created: 2022-07-01 Last updated: 2022-07-01

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