This book is a major reassessment of how immigration is changing our world. The policies of multiculturalism that were implemented in the wake of post-war immigration have, especially since 9/11, come under intense scrutiny, and the continuing flow of populations has helped to ensure that immigration remains the focus of intense social and political debate. Based on his deep kwledge 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 t 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.
Paul Scheffer is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam