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German Policy on Immigration – from Ethnos to Demos?

Marianne Takle

This book documents and analyses changes to the immigration policy in Germany from Reunification in 1990 until 2005. Immigration policy is defined as a question of definition and redefinition of the boundaries of the national political community. The analysis shows that the concept of national political community was both disputed and reformulated in this political process. All the parties reformulated their arguments in a parallel fashion around the same time. This reformulation was not a one-dimensional or a purely linear process from an ‘ethnos’ to a ‘demos’ mode of thinking. By the end of this period, rights-based arguments had been combined with an increased emphasis on an immigrant’s duty to accept both the central values of the German political system and the national cultural values. The main pattern of change demonstrates a shift from an ethnic understanding of national political community towards one that combines rights and cultural values.
Contents: German Immigration Policy – Ethnos – Demos – National Political Community – Nationalism – Immigration – Ethnicity.