Describe the influx of foreign-labor migrants to Europe and the consequences for the welfare state in Western Europe
In Europe, the second half of the 20th century was a period of major change in all aspects of social life. It was marked by economic, social and demographic changes. Migration movements since 1945 have had an especially marked effect, both on the existing population and on newcomers, which influenced the evolution of the welfare state in Europe.
As Castles argues, however, in practice the importance of migration for the welfare state is often overlooked because welfare states were created for citizens, thus implicitly excluding migrants. Panayi distinguishes three phases of post-war migration in Europe: the massive refugee crisis after the fall of Nazism, the economic boom of post-World War II, through the 1970s, when immigrants chased the prosperity being created in Europe, and finally the end of large-scale labour recruitment by Western Europe. Ignoring the impact of migration on welfare states thus could have been to some extent justified until 1945 when Europe was considered as “homogenous” , but today the migrant population represents between 5% and 15% of the total population of Western Europe , making it impossible to ignore. Thus, what changed during this sixty-five year time period? Specifically, how did labour migration between 1960 and 1990 shape the welfare regimes of Western European countries? To answer this question, I will first describe the immigration flows to Western Europe; then I will analyze how the welfare regimes have been redefined by migration policies, focusing especially on the cases of extra-European immigration to four particular countries: Britain, Germany, and Sweden.
I will attempt to show that after the economic boom of the 1950-1970s, as the employment situation worsened in Europe, welfare states became reshaped by immigration, a phenomenon that did not exclude any types of welfare regimes theorized by Esping-Anderson. Depending on the economic context, and especially the unemployment level, European states have either included or excluded migrants from the welfare state, thus making citizenship a barrier for receiving welfare benefits.
[...] However, the economic context of the 1970s, common to several European countries forced their governments to rethink welfare state’s policies towards migrants. Large-scale labor immigration was slowed down by European governments, but the number of migrants did not decrease as migrants’ families and asylum seekers arrived, especially from the 1980s on. After the economic boom, European welfare states have been granting social rights and welfare benefits according to a new social hierarchy, where nationality has played a more and more important role in obtaining welfare benefits. [...]
[...] Describe the influx of foreign-labor migrants to Europe and the consequences for the welfare state in Western Europe In Europe, the second half of the 20th century was a period of major change in all aspects of social life. It was marked by economic, social and demographic changes. Migration movements since 1945 have had an especially marked effect, both on the existing population and on newcomers, which influenced the evolution of the welfare state in Europe. As Castles argues, however, in practice the importance of migration for the welfare state is often overlooked because welfare states were created for citizens, thus implicitly excluding migrants. [...]
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