Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Gunther Hega
Dr. Sybil D. Rhodes
Dr. Steven Benfell
Masters Thesis-Open Access
Immigration policy has been a crucial issue facing all Western European countries for decades; however, it has recently become an even greater concern. Much of the literature argues that shifts in immigration policy correspond with shifts in economic conditions or the power of far-right parties. Others argue that immigration policy is primarily a cultural issue, although very little research has been done to address the role of specific cultural factors in different countries.
This paper looks at the evolution of immigration policy in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany, and addresses the question of why immigration policies in each country target different groups. I argue that, while economics and politics are important, immigration policy is influenced primarily by a sense of national identity, to the point where even economic factors are viewed through the lens of national identity. By examining key immigration legislation, economic data, public opinion regarding immigration, historical circumstances, and immigration trends, this paper will show that deep-seated cultural norms and institutions have a greater impact on immigration policy than economic factors in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
Rogers, Sheri L., "The Role of Economic, Political, and Cultural Factors in Immigration Policy in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany" (2004). Master's Theses. 5026.