Learning from history: city governance of migration and diversity in Britain and Germany

Hackett, S (2016) Learning from history: city governance of migration and diversity in Britain and Germany. In: 13th IMISCOE Annual Conference, 30 June - 2 July 2016, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Official URL: https://www.imiscoe.org/what-imiscoe-does/events/5...


This paper offers an insight into city-level immigrant policies in Britain and Germany across the post-1960s period. Drawing upon four city case studies, Berlin, Bremen, Leicester and Newcastle upon Tyne, it exposes the extent to which local governance of migration and diversity has been shaped by cities' migration histories. It shows how city authorities have often looked to the past for examples, lessons and inspiration, and how history has continued to play a role in shaping immigrant policies. Examples include how Berlin has been influenced by its long history of welcoming immigrants from the seventeenth century, including French Huguenots and Bohemian Protestants, as well as its hugely diverse migrant communities, which developed across the post-war period and include Arabs, Poles and Turks. Bremen has been inspired by its history of centuries of labour immigration in the form of Czechs, Poles, Russians and Slovaks, as well as the part it played in the emigration of millions of European migrants making the journey to the New World, and its reputation of Hanseatic diversity, tolerance and cosmopolitanism. Similarly, Newcastle has drawn upon its history of anti-racism, and the positive encounters and integration experienced by Arabs, Blacks and Irish in the region during the 1800s and early 1900s. Leicester, on the contrary, has at times gone to great lengths to distance itself from aspects of its migration history, especially the advert the city council took out in 1972 in an attempt to deter Idi Amin’s expelled Ugandan Asians from coming to the city. These histories have been reflected in all four cities’ responses to the challenges and opportunities presented by migration, and specifically in immigrant policies in a range of areas, including education, entrepreneurship, housing, integration and diversity. Overall, this paper demonstrates how British and German cities have long been independent active agents with regards to immigrant policies, and provides an insight into both city migration histories and the local governance of migration and diversity. It draws upon archival material in the form of government reports and legislation, newspaper articles, and an abundant body of secondary literature.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2017 15:38
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:44
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/8813
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)