Immigration and Politics

  • Martin A. Schain


Since the period of the Third Republic France has welcomed, and at times encouraged, successive waves of immigration. Almost 10 per cent of the French population in 1982 was foreign-born, a percentage considerably higher than that of any other European country and 30 per cent higher than the foreign-born population of the USA. During this long period of immigration, a network of social and political institutions — among which have been the centralised school system, the Catholic church, the army, trade unions and the political parties of the Left — have played an effective role in integrating new immigrants into French social, economic and political life. Although there were numerous instances of anti-immigrant violence, some anti-immigrant movements and high levels of anti-immigrant sentiment in France since the turn of the century, these institutions have been relatively successful in limiting and controlling ethnic-based social violence. They have also managed to keep issues of immigration and ethnic divisions on the periphery of the political process.


Immigrant Population Immigration Policy Immigrant Family Immigrant Child Illegal Immigrant 
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© Stephen E. Bornstein 1990

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  • Martin A. Schain

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