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Conference Proceeding

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Germany long stood as the epitome of the ethno-nationalist approach to immigration. However, passage of the new Citizenship Law in 2000, which introduced jus soli, seemed to signal a sea change in the direction of a postnational outlook. This paper warns against seeing in the new legislation an emerging normative consensus around the kind of liberal cosmopolitanism advocated by the likes of Jürgen Habermas, Ulrich Beck or Will Kymlicka. I document the persistent allure and influence of nationalism and point to the growing appeal and sway of proposals and policies informed by a postmodern normative outlook. Germany’s normative landscape, like that of most European lands, is highly complex and contentious, manifesting Kulturkampf rather than consensus as far as immigration is concerned. The result is a complicated, indeed messy, immigration policy that defies easy categorization into neat typologies putative in comparative immigration studies.


Boğaziçi University

Publication Information

Paper presented at the conference “Debating the Immigration-Integration nexus in Germany and Turkey: Where to Go from Here?” Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, 23-24 September, 2011