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Open Access Gender and the ‘integrationist turn’ - Comparative perspectives on marriage migration in the UK and Sweden

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Family migration policies are part of a larger integration policy trend referred to as the ‘civic integrationist turn’. States across Europe have moved away from more rights-based approaches for the integration of immigrants towards a stronger emphasis on obligations, implying that new arrivals must prove to have attained certain integration achievements before accessing rights in the host country. This development has to be understood in relation to growing concerns about national identity and social cohesion where immigrant groups are seen to pose a threat to existing liberal values. Arguably, discourses of gender equality are at the heart of this debate, and have pushed the question of women’s emancipation closer to the borders of Fortress Europe. It is in this context that we locate our paper on gender equality discourses on family re-unification policies and more specifically marriage migration in the UK and Sweden. The rationale behind our comparative approach is that these countries share a similar ‘multicultural’ integration policy legacy and were previously regarded to be the most committed to the ‘multicultural programme’. But while the UK has made significant policy moves, with the introduction of stricter requirements, Sweden remains reluctant towards the use of civic conditioning of rights as an integration policy tool.

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Keywords: civic-integrationism; equality; gender; immigrant; marriage; migration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden., Email: [email protected] 2: Researcher and lecturer at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: August 1, 2014

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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