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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

2000, Vol. 3 No. 2 .

The Politics of Belonging: Migrants and Minorities in Contemporary Europe
Geddes, Andrew & Favell, Adrian (eds.)

Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999
228pp. Hb.: £35.00; ISBN 1-8401-4177-9.

In The Politics of Belonging, with contributions from mostly junior academics, the concepts of 'global belonging', 'integration' and 'immigration' are dealt with thoroughly. With its twelve chapters the edited volume offers a rather elaborate approach on the developments in the post-nationalist landscape that is Western Europe. John Crowley and Adrian Favell in their more theoretical contributions treat belonging as an analytical term as distinct from national identity or integration - very much the overarching approach of the book as such. Particularly refreshing is the way terms like 'multiculturalism' and 'ethnic pluralism' are dissected, such as in Shamit Saggars chapter on British immigration policies and in Daniel Levys chapter on national identity in Germany. Policies of integration are also dealt with by Anastassia Tsoukala and Silvia Kobi who deal with the perception of immigrants in Greece and the relationship between the electorate and xenophobic attitudes respectively. This also goes for Erik Bleichs chapter on the difference in education policies in France and Great Britain, and with a focus on 'multicultural education'. Amélie Blom and Sasa Bozic in their chapters deal with the concept of 'transnational identity', the former in the context of the 'transnational protests' and 'transnational belonging' during the 'Rushdie Affair' and the latter with the Croats in Vienna. In Bozics chapter, as well as in Christine Barats-Malbrels chapter on non-nationals in France, the en bloc approach to ethnic communities is questioned and criticised. The discussion on transnational belonging and immigration is also valid for the European Union. Andrew Geddes in his chapter deals with the establishment and also the problems of an institutionalised European framework on immigration, developments also discussed by Marco Martinello and Andrea Rea, who in their chapter focus on the limited impact of EU-policy on the Belgian immigration policy. Among the recent publications on belonging, identity and integration, Politics of Belonging comes across as a clear winner with its comparative outset and a somewhat extensive overview. The only down-side is the lack of an index and the scarcity of statistics concerning migration and emigration, number of schools, etc. Needless to say, these are points of minor concern and leave little, if any, impact on the general impression.

Ulf Hansson, University

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