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Module 2. The European Multinational and Multicultural Identity: assets and tensions, immigration and integration policies

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In this module we will first (a) explore the debate on the different ideas about what constitutes a European identity, and seek how these relate to concepts such as the nation state, nationality, and citizenship. Topics and key questions:

  1. What are the different definitions and concepts?
  2. Is there evidence to be found of a European identity?
  3. What is the balance between the supranational vs. the intergovernmental visions? The future of the Nation State

Apart from the historical, political and socio-demographic overview, this part of the module will focus in particular on the ongoing political and cultural tensions between particularistic and cosmopolitan world views. Different lines of research and scholarly works will be presented.
Interactive discussions will form an essential didactical tool of the module here.

In the second part of the module (b) we will delve into the topic of immigration and integration policies. After a brief sketch of the immigration situation in Europe, the discussion will focus on the different ways in which European countries are dealing with the issue of immigrants in their societies. We will take into consideration the different cultural contexts and sensitivities (e.g. language, values, norms…), and pursue how these affect integration (and/or assimilation) policies. At the same time, we will take into account the ambiguities of the immigrant perspective. How can we assess his/her multiple and mixed relationships to the home country/culture and the host country/culture?
Key questions that will be addressed include the following:

  • What are the different phases, since the second World War, of the migration flows to Europe?
  • What is the quantitative weight of these inflows on the receiving societies? What are the qualitative transformations?
  • What are the major European models and trends regarding integration and immigration policies? Examples of failures and successes.
  • How do we assess the role of ‘multiculturalism’ as a factor of enrichment and understanding between different cultural groups in European society?