This course introduces students to the seminal questions and cutting-edge research on the politics of immigration. It draws on research by political scientists, sociologists, economists, and demographers, and covers historical and contemporary cases from the US and other Western nations. The course has two goals: to provide students with an understanding of immigration patterns, legal structures, and academic debates, and to lay the groundwork for students to produce high-quality quantitative immigration research. The course begins by discussing core questions like why do people migrate and how do we understand the politics of immigration, and provides an account of the policies that welcome or prohibit some immigrants. We then move to discussing the processes of immigrant integration: how do social scientists define immigrant integration, do immigrants and their children enter the mainstream societal institutions, what are the policies that promote the participation of immigrants in the mainstream institutions, and which conditions hinder immigrants participation in the mainstream, including nativist reactions to immigration and demographic change. The course ends with a discussion of interventions designed to promote inclusionary attitudes towards immigrants. Class sessions focus on discussions of course readings and student presentations. Students will complete an analytical essay considering a historical or current societal challenge or puzzle related to the politics of immigration.
Subfield: Comparative Politics
Instructor: Stephanie Zonszein