Based on his deep knowledge of the European and American experience, Scheffer shows how immigration entails the loss of familiar worlds, both for immigrants and for host societies. The conflict that accompanies all major migratory movements is not the result of a failure of integration, but is part of a search for new ways of living together. It prompts an intensive process of self-examination on all sides.
Immigration has such a profound impact because it goes to the heart of institutions like the welfare state and liberties like the freedom of expression; liberal democracies developing into immigrant nations go through an existential change. To cope with these challenges, Scheffer argues, we should move beyond multiculturalism and take a fresh look at the meaning of citizenship in a globalizing world.
This principled and path-breaking book will establish itself as a classic work on immigration and will be an indispensable text for anyone interested in one of the most important social and political issues of our time.
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'With Immigrant Nations, Scheffer offers an extension of his earlier arguments and an answer to his critics ... essential reading for anyone with an interest in the issue.'
Times Higher Education
'Arguably the best study in many years of the effects that mass immigration has had on the countries and cities of western Europe and north America.'
'Should be required reading for those engaged with this important issue.'
'With major cities as focal points, Scheffer argues for a revision of both how we look at our legislative and cultural relationship with immigration by way of revisiting historical precedents as well as considering the profoundly different (more densely populated and globalized) world in which we live today.'
'The breadth of this study is formidable. Exploring as it does the history of voluntary or forced emigration and immigration, slavery and the US and the problems of assimilation, it covers a number of controversial bases in a non-sensationalist way. The recurring subject of large and diverse Muslim communities in European cities is the most significant theme of this book and it's an issue which is tackled with courage and honesty.'
'Scheffer tackles the problems resulting from immigration into Europe with a candid critique of antiforeign sentiments and the feelings of immigrant populations as well ... Highly recommended.'
'An honest and vivid exploration of the many issues that contemporary immigration presents for European societies ... proof that the immigration debate can and should be moved beyond its current impasse.'
Survival: Global Politics and Strategy
‘Paul Scheffer has written the most acute, sensitive and nuanced account there is of Europe's new immigrants. This book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand today's Europe.'
Timothy Garton Ash, St Antony's College, Oxford
‘Paul Scheffer handles a combustible subject with uncommon restraint. His tone is sharp yet compassionate; his scope is broad yet detailed; he is an insider yet unobtrusive. In a subtle way he reveals the layers of painful contradictions that plague a people who for decades cultivated a self-image of tolerance and freedom, only to be cast into self-doubt as that image is tested by the arrival and settlement of Muslim immigrants.'
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, American Enterprise Institute
‘A vital contribution to the current discussions in Europe on the problems of immigration. Scheffer's voice is urgent, timely and penetrating. This book should be read by all Europeans, and indeed by all people, who are interested in one of the most pressing issues of our time: how to integrate non-Western immigrants, especially immigrants with Muslim backgrounds, into Western societies.'
Ian Buruma, Bard College