2019-09-30Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/21104
Lokale Anwerbe- und Abwehrpolitiken im Kontext von Migration und Flucht
How well migrants and refugees integrate into their new communities depends to a large extent on a range of circumstances at local level, which, in turn, can vary from case to case. Local integration policies build upon specific local discourses about particular “problems” related to urban development and migration issues. These discourses are not only conditioned by structural and socio-economic circumstances, but also by which policy options appear legitimate against the background of specific spatial imaginaries. Two particularly prominent urban discourses are linked to the diagnoses of shrinking cities and socio-spatial segregation; the latter is almost invariably viewed as a spatial concentration of disadvantaged population groups. In both cases, conventional political answers are centred around initiating (inland) immigration, aimed implicitly at the autochthonous middle classes. On the basis of empirical studies carried out in the shrinking small town of Altena (Westphalia) and the neighbourhood of Altenessen and Karnap in the socially segregated city of Essen, we reconstruct different paths of local integration and migration policy. The article aims to trace back local political decisions on migration-related issues to site-specific predispositions and spatial imaginaries. In Altena, it is expected that a stabilisation of the town’s population will occur as a result of the influx of refugees. It was for this reason that the town reacted to the most recent migration movements with a so-called “recruitment policy”, which manifested itself in the decision to voluntarily accommodate additional refugees (when compared to state-allocated quotas). On the other hand, the area north of Essen is dominated by local political efforts in the form of “exclusion policies”, which aim at defending the neighbourhood against migration, mobilising fears of exacerbating socio-spatial segregation.
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This article was supported by the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.