Research-Policy Dialogues in Germany
In Germany there is a rich and many-faceted academic tradition on immigrant integration, which goes back several decades. Initially, however, dialogues between researchers and policymakers were relatively scarce. This was largely because German policymakers did not consider the country to be a country of immigration. Consequently, they did not have a great interest in acquiring knowledge on immigrant integration, and certainly not at the federal level. This situation began to change in the 1990s, when Germany was faced with growing numbers of immigrants, largely as a consequence of the political changes in Europe. Academics were successful in mobilising public opinion and the media, and thus forced the government to reconsider the basis of its policies. Once the fact that Germany had become an immigration country had been publicly acknowledged, several new dialogue and consultancy structures were set up, which encouraged the use of research outcomes in policymaking. However, in all cases analysed in more detail in this chapter, the political primacy has remained over the use (or misuse) of the relevant research outcomes. This seems to be the case primarily at the federal level, and less so at the local level, where there is more room for mutual learning.
KeywordsEarly Childhood Education Migration Background Migrant Child Integration Policy Integration Research
“Germany is an immigration country.” This statement has become almost commonplace in present day Germany’s political and cultural public. Thirty years ago the same statement was regarded almost as ‘heresy’ by the large majority of this public. How could this change come about? This chapter is about the role that the social sciences played in changing the societal definition of the immigration situation. It focuses not only on the development of research on migration and integration, but particularly on the institutional nexus between migration and integration research and a broader cultural and political public.
Changing the societal definition of the immigration situation has had consequences for integration and integration policies. In the following we look briefly at this development and then try to reconstruct some of the highlights of the “internal” migration research development, which could be transported into the societal and political spheres. This has prepared the ground for discussing the research-policy dialogue structures, which is the main theme of this book. At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century more than 16 million people with a migration background lived in Germany. Several research findings show that migrant integration made significant progress (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration 2011; Sachverständigenrat Deutscher Stiftungen 2010). Nevertheless, in several areas, such as education and vocational training as well as integration into the labour market, there is still a need for action to promote equal opportunities for migrants.
Labour market participation of the immigrant population is considered to be a key indicator for successful integration. Several research results indicate structural disadvantages for migrants on the German labour market. The unemployment rate among foreigners is nearly twice as high as among the total population (Beauftragte 2011: 75).1 Low-skilled and young persons with a migration background are especially affected by unemployment (Sachverständigenrat Deutscher Stiftungen 2010: 173).
As to school education, there has been an increase in educational achievement for both young people with and without a migration background. Yet, native Germans tend to acquire significantly higher school-leaving qualifications than migrant youth, of whom half obtain only lower school-leaving certificates (e.g. Hauptschulabschluss) or have no school-leaving qualifications (Sachverständigenrat Deutscher Stiftungen 2010: 138). Nevertheless, a considerable increase in upper level school-leaving certificates can be observed amongst young people with a migration background (Beauftragte 2011: 34).
Access to adequate and affordable housing is considered as another important indicator for integration. In the past decades, living conditions of urban immigrant populations have improved, but there are still differences between migrant and majority populations in terms of size of living space, rental costs and residential property (Sachverständigenrat Deutscher Stiftungen 2010: 193). Residential segregation is often interpreted as a factor counteracting integration; while there are districts in several large cities with large concentrations of migrants, ethnic segregation in Germany is less of an issue than in other European countries (Musterd 2005: 335).
11.1.1 Migrant Integration Policies and Institutional Developments
Developments in German integration policy since 1955
Definition of the immigration situation
Integration policy development
Temporary guest worker recruitment (1955–1973)
No specific integration policy
Inclusion into welfare state institutions
Denial of the immigration situation (1973–1989/1990)
Controversies on integration policies
Appointment of a Federal ‘Commissioner for foreigners’
Support for labour migrants’ voluntary return
New immigration and initiation of a policy paradigm shift (1990–1998)
Continuing denial of immigration situation and lack of comprehensive political concepts at national level
1998 change of government and official recognition of the immigration situation
New Integration Policy (since 2000)
Milestones of the new integration policy:
New Citizenship Law 2000
New Immigration Act 2005
German Islam Conference 2006
National Integration Plan 2007
National Action Plan 2011
The recruitment of foreign guest workers started in 1955 and rapidly increased through the 1960s. There were no special integration policies, but foreign workers were generally employed under the same labour conditions as German workers, including membership in the welfare state institutions.
The end of guest worker recruitment in 1973 was meant to lead to a diminution of foreign workers and of the foreign population. Even though the number of foreign workers decreased, the foreign population in Germany increased due to family reunification. This should have led to a re-definition of the immigration situation by the government, but paradoxically the formula ‘Germany is not a country of immigration’ became the official governmental definition and political guideline until 1998.
The new coalition government of Social Democrats and Greens in 1998 declared Germany as a country of immigration. The new citizenship law in 2000, which introduced elements of ius soli, can be interpreted as an official acknowledgement and re-definition of the immigration and integration situation (Heckmann 2003: 53).
This emerging dynamic and a growing consensus on migration and integration were strongly promoted by the official establishment of an Independent Commission on Migration in the autumn of 2000. The commission was initiated by the Interior Minister Otto Schily and headed by the CDU Member of Parliament and former President of the German Bundestag Rita Süssmuth. On the one hand, the commission’s aim was to examine how to manage and how to determine Germany’s immigration needs. On the other hand the commission was requested to elaborate a concept of integration.
Interestingly, the establishment of the commission had an impact on all political parties in Germany: ‘They too, in a competitive process, installed their own commissions for migration […] and published their own position papers. […] The surprising result of the other parties’ papers was that their positions were all quite close to those of the official commission’ (Heckmann 2003: 54). This political paradigm shift was facilitated by labour shortages in some segments of the labour market and an increasing awareness of the consequences of recent demographic changes.
The recommendations of the Independent Commission on Migration laid the foundations for a new integration policy in Germany. The New Immigration Act of 2005 can be considered a significant step, because ‘for the first time in Germany’s legislative history, regulations for immigration, labour market access, resident regulations and the integration of migrants [were] combined in one legislative act’ (Borkert and Bosswick 2007: 10).
In response to the growing number of Muslims in Germany, the Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble established the German Islam Conference (DIK) in 2006, a dialogue between the German state, individual Muslims as well as Muslim associations to facilitate the integration of the German Muslim population. The establishment of the DIK can be interpreted as the official recognition of Islam as the third largest religion in Germany.
The National Integration Plan, in 2007 constitutes another milestone in Germany’s new integration policy. It is not really a plan in the sense of state planning, but rather a coordinated commitment by political and civil society actors at all levels of government and civil society to initiate certain integration policies in their field of responsibility. In December 2011 the National Integration Plan was converted into a National Action Plan including concrete, obligatory and verifiable targets (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung 2013)
As part of the National Integration Plan the German Government committed itself to developing a monitoring system of indicators to make integration in Germany more measurable. In 2009, the first Report on Indicators of Integration established the basis for a monitoring system at the national level. The report aimed to provide an objective and evidence-based view of the living conditions of migrants in Germany.
11.2 Knowledge Production
In the second decade of the twenty-first century, research on migration and migrant integration in Germany could be described as a very ‘differentiated and increasingly specialised field of research which includes various disciplines of the social sciences such a sociology, geography, history, linguistics, education, political science, economics, law, psychology and social anthropology’ (Bommes 2010: 127).
Late 1940s and 1950s: migration research on refugees, expellees and ethnic Germans
1970s and early 1980s: Ausländerforschung (‘research on foreigners’)
Institutionalisation of migrant integration research at the end of the 1980s and in the 1990s
Current migrant integration research: a highly differentiated and specialised field of research.
11.2.1 Migration Research on Refugees, Expellees and Ethnic Germans
Between 1945 and the beginning of the 1950s, about 12 million German refugees and expellees came to the Western part of Germany. This large number of refugees was expected to evoke conflict. Extensive research on refugees and expellees was an answer to this problem, elaborating various issues that would later become relevant for the ‘Ausländerforschung’ of the 1970s and 1980s (Angenendt 1992: 186). The research was closely oriented to policy and political applicability due to a ‘fear that political radicalisation might spread among these migrant groups under the severe social conditions of the immediate post-war period, i.e. a lack of housing, employment, food and clothes’ (Bommes 2010: 128).
At the end of the 1950s, when different studies showed that refugees and expellees were quite well integrated and better off than expected, funding and research on this topic came to an end (ibid.: 132).
11.2.2 From Ausländerforschung to Migration Research
Early research on labour migration in the 1960s was focused on labour market issues and was done mostly by economists (Wilpert 1984: 307). It started under the term Gastarbeiterforschung, but was re-named Ausländerforschung soon afterwards (Bommes 2010: 134).
According to Treibel (1988), the number of publications on the ‘Ausländerproblem’ rose noticeably between 1970 and 1973. The mid-1970s and the early 1980s can be interpreted as the main research phases of the German Ausländerforschung, not only in terms of the quantity of studies and publications, but also with regard to the development of research and funding structures (Treibel 1988: 34).
A common characteristic of the various studies during the Ausländerforschung phase was their ‘social problem’ orientation. Migration research in the 1970s was mainly designed as applied science reacting to social problems of labour migrants, such as housing issues, health, political participation, education in schools and occupational training of the second generation (Treibel 1988: 38; Angenendt 1992: 189f; Bommes 2010).
Research on foreign children and youth – an area called ‘Ausländerpädagogik’ – considerably expanded in this period as well. This approach can be characterised by a focus on educational and social problems connected with the underachievement of migrant children. Today this often rather descriptive and often quite normative approach continues in the education of social workers. The research programme ‘Guest-worker Research – Migration and its Social Consequences’ established and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation in 1974, marked a step forward in the development of scientific research on the topic. Addressing return migration, social integration (with an emphasis on the second generation, families and women), and basic research, the programme supported about 60 research projects (Korte and Schmidt 1983, also Bommes 2010: 137).
At the end of the 1970s, the results of an interdisciplinary research network named ‘Problems of Foreigner Employment’ attracted the interest of both research and society. This research network published numerous publications dealing with economic, socio-economic and theoretical aspects (see e.g. Esser 1978; Gaugler 1978; Hill 1984; Korte 1980). Funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Order, a first ‘Representative Study on the Situation of Foreign Employees and their Family Members in the Federal Republic of Germany’ was carried out by the Research Institute of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, under the direction of Ursula Mehrländer (see Mehrländer and Hoffmann 1981). This survey has been repeated several times.
At the beginning of the 1980s an intra-disciplinary discourse on Ausländerforschung set in and the terminology and research concepts of Ausländerforschung were critically reviewed (Treibel 1988: 45). Treibel argued in her study on German Ausländerforschung that much of the research during the 1970s and early 1980s was characterised by a strong political and normative involvement and a corresponding lack of scientific detachment. A defined discipline of migration and integration research did not yet exist in Germany.2 Only the structural functionalist approach by Hans-Joachim Hoffmann-Nowotny (1970, 1973) could be considered as a systematic and theoretical approach (Heckmann 1987: 48). It did not, however, leave much of an impression on other researchers.
The early 1980s marked the slow beginning of a reconceptualisation of German Ausländerforschung as general migration research (Bommes 2010: 134). Of particular importance in this context are the works of Esser (1980), Heckmann (1981), and Bade (1983); they marked a qualitative step forward with regard to the development of migration research. This research established a sociology of migration and integration that increasingly opened itself to international traditions and concepts.3 Within this development three major approaches evolved which will be discussed in the next sections.
11.2.3 Methodological Individualism and Rational Choice Theory
Hartmut Esser’s work of 1980 follows a clearly defined theoretical model of rational choice or value expectancy theory, which has become a major school of thought in integration research. Migrants are seen as rational actors who base their decisions on a motivation to maximise their wellbeing through migration and integration. The work by Esser and his school of thought is open to other theoretical perspectives as well and currently works a lot with hypotheses from social capital theory.
The ‘Esser school’ (among them Paul B. Hill, Frank Kalter, Nadia Granato, Claudia Diehl, Cornelia Kristen and Sonja Haug) has produced a great number of quantitative studies of high methodological quality and relevance. Esser’s approach has been the most influential in the field of migration and integration research (Bommes 2010: 145).
11.2.4 Socio-historical Approach
This school of thought is closely connected with the name of Klaus Bade. Being a social historian by training, Bade has contributed much to establishing an interdisciplinary field of migration and integration research. Bade argued that ‘any research on migration and settlement processes needs to be embedded in the demographic, economic, social and cultural history of both the regions of origin and of destination’ (Bommes 2010: 148).
In Bade’s extensive work, broad knowledge of historical and internationally comparative research is combined with a critical stance towards contemporary political discourses. By founding the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) and later on the new research body ‘Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration’ in Berlin in 2008, Bade has contributed much to the institutionalisation of migration research in Germany. Increasingly Bade’s research has become more sociological, applying both quantitative and qualitative methods. Bade is and has been in close contact with the media and political actors and up to the present has a strong influence on public opinion in Germany.4
11.2.5 Ethnic Minority Approach
This approach is represented by Stephen Castles (1984) and Friedrich Heckmann (1981). The central category of ethnic minority is meant to indicate a status of belonging to a society that in many ways rejects the notion of inclusion. While Castles and Heckmann both agree on this, their approaches differ in the conceptualisation of minorities. Heckmann differentiated immigrant minorities from traditional national minorities. In the tradition of the Chicago School he viewed the minority status as a temporary status of transition to full integration or ‘assimilation’. Castles, working in Germany in the 1980s, follows the British tradition of regarding groups of migrants with a common background as rather stable ethnic minorities in a multicultural society.
The ethnic minority approach has contributed to opening up of the scientific discourse in Germany to international debates and their concepts as well as their theories. In political terms, the approach has greatly influenced the process of recognising Germany as a country of immigration. The sociological recognition of migrants as ethnic minorities is also mirrored in the naming of the German Sociological Association (DGS) working group on ‘Migration and Ethnic Minorities’, founded in 1985 (Treibel 1988: 72). The subsequent recognition of the working group as an independent section within the DGS was a major step towards establishing a defined field of migration and integration research. However, minority approaches in German migration and integration research did not gain the same prominence as they did in the Netherlands for a time or in Great Britain (Bommes 2010: 142).
11.2.6 Institutionalisation of Migrant Integration Research
With the introduction of these three research paradigms Ausländerforschung came to an end. At the same time a process of empirical differentiation and institutional anchoring of migration research began. Klaus J. Bade, Hartmut Esser, Friedrich Heckmann, Hans-Joachim Hoffmann-Nowotny and Ursula Mehrländer, the main protagonists of migration research during the 1970s and 1980s, were primarily involved in these processes of institutionalisation (Bommes 2010: 135).
The first step of the institutionalisation process of migration and integration research was the establishment of the already mentioned working group on ‘Migration and ethnic Minorities’ within the German Sociological Association in 1985. In the period from the late 1980s until the mid 1990s, several research centres linked to universities were founded. The first institutes to be founded were the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) at the University of Osnabrück, founded in 1991, and the European forum for migration studies (efms) at the University of Bamberg, established in 1993.
Other institutes that increasingly focused on migration and integration research were the Centre for Studies on Turkey (ZfTI) at the University of Essen, and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at the University of Bielefeld in 1996. Research centres, such as the Centre of European Social Research (MZES) at the University of Mannheim and the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB) increasingly engaged in migration research as well. In the meantime, migration research has been established in more and more institutions and a continuing disciplinary differentiation is going on which makes it increasingly difficult to keep track of the development of the field.
The institutionalisation process of integration research in the 1990s was accompanied by substantial funding activities for research projects. The main funding institutions were the German Research Council (DFG), the Volkswagen Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bommes 2010: 149).
11.3 Dialogue Structures
In this section we look at processes and structures of science-society dialogues that contributed to changing and shaping integration policy in Germany. The following typology of dialogue structures is partly in accordance with Boswell’s categories (Boswell 2009), and partly reconstructed in an inductive manner by looking at the empirical structure of relations between the social sciences and society. We found variations of the enlightenment and bureaucratic models (Scholten 2011); in addition we identified types of dialogue that we called ‘academies’, consultancy and mutual learning models.5
Since the end of World War II and with the construction of a new Germany several institutions have been created for a kind of societal re-education programme. One major effort has been the founding of numerous ‘Akademien’ as centres of information, education and dialogue in society. Academies have been founded by political parties, unions, churches, employers’ organisations and NGOs for educating their members, but also a wider public. They are part of an adult education system in which people learn in a pleasant environment and usually stay together for several days. The academies teach history, take up intellectual currents in society, political debates and controversies and basic ethical and normative issues.
For more than 30 years, the migration–integration issue has been and is a major topic of dialogue and debate in the academies. Much of the effort to convince society of the reality of Germany being an immigration country has happened in the Akademien and through their work. Social scientists have continuously been invited for presentations and discussions in the academies and have found an interested audience of opinion leaders for their topics. Participants of the workshops meet politicians and other important social actors in face-to-face situations and can establish relations with them to influence their work. With controversial topics, like migration and integration, journalists have quite often taken part in the conferences and have reported in their respective media. Thus, on the one hand, politicians have been influenced by the Akademie workshops, on the other hand journalists (of quality media) have transferred messages from these workshops to an interested public.
11.3.2 Enlightenment Models
We found three major forms of enlightenment models; manifestos, model projects and self-appointed consultancy. Manifestos are public statements by groups of scientists or scientific organisations addressing an ‘enlightened public’ of educated readers, politicians, journalists, other scientists, but also organisations like political parties, employers’ organisations, unions, churches and different kinds of NGOs. A manifesto is an appeal to get attention for an urgent social problem. The content of a manifesto is a concise distillation of research findings, including conclusions and recommendations concerning political action to be taken. The potential impact of a manifesto depends greatly – but not exclusively – on the attention it receives in the media and the way the media convey the manifesto’s messages. A manifesto that gained wide public attention was the ‘Manifest der 60. Deutschland und die Einwanderung’ (Bade 1994), a manifesto signed by 60 renowned researchers from various disciplines, such as history, sociology, political science, economics, law, demography, education, anthropology. The manifesto proposed an improvement of important preconditions for integration, namely a reform of the existing citizenship law. Moreover, the researchers promoted a new concept of immigration taking into account the demographic evolution of Germany. The widely circulated manifesto fed into discourses in the political system, society, science and the media.
Model projects are projects usually funded by foundations or other civil society organisations that focus on an under-researched and under-funded social problem. Model projects – like manifestos – address a broader public and political class with an appeal or recommendation for action. The appeal is based on scientific research findings or an evaluation that ‘proves’ the efficacy of a certain measure or policy.
Self appointed consultancy aims at reaching and enlightening a broader public, but also addresses politicians through offers of advice. It can be regarded as a hybrid between enlightenment models and consultancy models.
In the project interviews, experts also emphasised private foundations as important actors in science-society dialogues, such as the Bertelsmann-Foundation, the Mercator-Foundation, the Freudenberg-Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation and the Schader-Foundation.6 These foundations funded and carried out various model projects in the migrant integration field, especially projects concerning educational support for migrant children and youth, in order to promote political and public awareness. The ‘frühstart’ project by the Hertie Foundation is an example. Starting from hypotheses about the relevance of early child education, a programme for early childhood development for migrant children was developed and evaluated. The programme is supposed to influence the political system to invest more in early childhood education, particularly for migrant children. The project ‘Förderunterricht’ by the Mercator Foundation is another example in the realm of migrant education. Thus, foundations helped to enlighten the public and to promote science-society dialogues. Manifestos and model projects have been a means of slowly enlightening the political system in terms of Germany’s status as an immigration country, and helped to establish the reform policy of the new government of 1998.
For a long time [we thought] the best way to attract politicians’ attention to our research results was to get in contact with them directly […], but that was the wrong course. To critically follow political and public debates means using the media and the public in order to raise political interest in findings and expertise from migration research (interview with Bade).
11.3.3 Bureaucratic Dialogue Structures
In Germany there is a differentiation between free scientific research – in universities and publicly funded institutes like the Max Planck Gesellschaft – and so called Ressortforschung. The latter is scientific research, but the research questions and the uses (and misuses) of research results are controlled by the administration that has commissioned the research. In Scholten’s terminology, such relations are coordinated according to the ‘engineering model’ (Scholten 2009). This does not necessarily mean the research results remain secret and are used only for internal purposes. The administration that has commissioned the research may have an interest in influencing a wider public and NGOs via the publication of the research reports.
Regarding Ressortforschung about migration and integration in Germany, the work of the well funded research department of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is a very good example of efforts to inform politicians, other parts of state- and local- administrations, and a broader public of NGOs. An impressive array of such publications is available on the internet. There is other research, of course, that has been produced for internal governmental and administrative purposes, and that has not and will not be published.
The forms of consultancy identified in this category differ from self-appointed consultancy by providing advice that was requested by government or civil society organisations.
Individual consultancy is a form in which individual scientific experts advise a public or private institution or organisation. There are numerous such activities in all spheres of migration and integration. As a single illustration one might mention the influence that the jurist Kay Hailbronner has played advising the German Ministry of the Interior during different governments in matters of immigration policy and naturalisation.
Collective consultancy models: These are dialogue structures in which a body of scientific experts either alone or with experts from other fields provides advice to a public or private organisation or administration (government, agency, city, political parties, unions, NGOs, foundations, corporations). The aim is to improve the policy and prestige of the respective organisation. At the same time the experts may be and sometimes are expected to communicate about the activities of the organisation consulted and help shape its image in the experts’ milieu.
An example of such a collective consultancy body in Germany is the BAMF scientific expert body that advises the research department of the agency. BAMF as a whole additionally has installed an advisory board called ‘Expertengremium’ which meets twice a year for one and a half days. This committee partly consists of scientific experts, but mostly of representatives of other governmental departments and NGOs active in migration and integration policies. It discusses a wide range of topics related to BAMF’s activities and enables the scientific experts to bring in their expertise.
Project consultancy is a form of consultancy in which a scientific institute is cooperating with a public or private body developing a policy or set of measures to improve a particular situation or initiate something new. Formative evaluation, in which the evaluator has an intervening role in the project, is a case in point. The institute is using its scientific expertise and methods to develop a certain policy or measure.
11.3.5 Mutual Learning Models
This is a form in which public or private bodies cooperate among themselves and with scientific institutes for the purpose of mutual learning and knowledge sharing about successful policies. The public bodies, cities for instance, share their experience regarding the application of certain policies, while the institutes contribute scientific evidence on the issues.
The CLIP project is an example of a mutual learning process. It consists of a network of European cities and European research institutes and has recently completed work on four major areas of migrant integration issues: housing, diversity, inter-group relations, and ethnic entrepreneurship (www.eurofound.europa.eu).
11.4 Knowledge Utilisation
Turning now to knowledge utilisation, knowledge may be used by policymakers in three different ways, as Boswell (see Chap. 2) suggests: in an instrumental way, to legitimise the authority of an organisation, or to substantiate a policy initiative which has already been decided in advance. Equally, of course, knowledge may be ignored and not utilised at all. The latter was the case during the period of Ausländerforschung in the 1970s and for most migration research in the 1980s.
The efforts of the academies and the other forms of enlightenment dialogue structures that we elaborated above consisted in offering existing knowledge to an open-minded public and to some of the political institutions. But the political institutions generally did not feel the need to take notice of migration research, since they still believed that Ausländer were a transitory problem and that Germany was not an immigration country.
To talk of utilisation of knowledge makes sense only after successful dialogue structures between migration research and the public and policymakers have been established and continue to create a need for such knowledge. The change of government in 1998 marks a turning point in that sense: the new Red-Green government and all other governments since then increasingly have utilised migration research. Knowledge utilisation happens in three forms that we have termed consultancy, bureaucratic and mutual learning dialogue structures. These forms imply that advice is requested by the polity, that there is a demand structure, and not just supply as in the early phase of migration research. All forms of consultancy that we have identified – individual, collective and project consultancy – represent a demand for scientific knowledge.
It is evident that independent commissions established by the government, such as […] the Independent Commission on Migration […], primarily provide input and preliminary work through their advisory activities. However, the final and constitutional decision-making procedures remain unaffected (Süssmuth, in Schneider 2010).
The bureaucratic model of science-polity relations has been established by policymakers, because the political system feels that there is a continuous need for scientific knowledge of migration and integration processes. When the German Ministry of Interior Affairs established the research unit in the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in 2005 this was the beginning of a large number of research projects, all commissioned by the government. At present this research unit is the largest amongst all the research units in Germany. It is characteristic of the bureaucratic model that the ministry controls research questions and publication of results.
Yet, the question remains as to how expertise from research finds its ways into policy decision-making today. Especially in the field of integration monitoring, there are some indications of ‘evidence-based’ policymaking through the increasing deployment of expert knowledge from empirical social research to deliver information and data on the state of integration processes.8
In recent years politics increasingly began to take note of the wide range of expert knowledge already in existence. Even if they do not use and implement all expertise that is proposed by commissions, advisory boards and researchers, they at least acknowledge it (interview with university researcher in history).
Other experts argue that policymakers often draw selectively on external expertise and forms of consultancy by choosing the expertise that strengthens and subsequently fosters their own positions and concepts. If it doesn’t, policymakers take note of the expertise but don’t use it.9 ‘Politics only uses expertise from research in order to achieve determined objectives. Often those researchers are chosen who strengthen certain political positions’ (interview with academic in the social sciences). ‘I get the impression that the political sphere makes use of expert knowledge only very selectively in order to adapt or legitimise certain policy measures. I feel that political actors only use knowledge from research to subsequently ensure or strengthen already existing concepts, which have often been developed under pressure from international and EU debates. I don’t see a systematic linkage between policy and science’ (interview with academic in political science).
Hence, researchers have to live with the fact that their knowledge is either used to improve migrant integration policies or misused for legitimising political positions.10
In the next sections we shall look at science-society dialogues in more detail in three particular areas: naturalisation of newcomers, education of migrant children and accommodation of new religious diversity.
11.5 Naturalisation of Newcomers
A new discourse on citizenship developed out of a legitimation problem for the democratic system in view of mass immigration. Due to immigration and settlement since the 1960s millions of residents in Germany were without political representation; as foreigners they could not take part in elections. Since the constitutional court had forbidden the participation of foreigners in elections, naturalisation remained the only way to ensure migrants’ political participation.
Citizenship is the question of belonging to the political and legal community of a state and nation. Thus, the concept of nation is basic for any concept of citizenship. Distinguishing in a somewhat ideal-typical way between a ‘nation by design’ (Zolberg 2006) or republican model, and descent-based concepts of nation, the traditional German concept of nation has been that of a community of common descent (‘blood’). In other words, the issue was: can someone be a German, who has not been born in Germany, or who has been born in Germany, but whose parents are foreigners? The question of ius soli in relation to ius sanguinis thus became a central issue in German citizenship and integration policies. The new citizenship law of 2000, after heated controversies, eventually sanctioned ius soli for the children of foreign parents born in Germany.
German citizenship law traditionally is based on the notion of belonging to and being loyal to one nation. Double (or even multiple) citizenship should be avoided. The renunciation of one’s citizenship is seen as a precondition for naturalisation. Since migrants often are legally and emotionally attached to the citizenship of their country of origin, migrant associations and many experts opted for a toleration of double citizenship. Controversies over the issue of double citizenship reached a peak when the federal election in Hesse in 1999 was unexpectedly won by a CDU candidate who had made the issue the central part of his campaign. Due to this victory in Hessen the Red-Green government in Berlin lost its majority in the Bundesrat, meaning many policies of the federal government could be vetoed.
Another major and controversial issue in citizenship policies has been the role of naturalisation in the integration process. Should it be the end point of the process of integration, or a means to integration? The practical implications of the issue relate to the required duration of legal residence in the country before filing an application, as well as knowledge of language and civics as conditions for naturalisation. Traditional immigration countries have short periods of 3–5 years, since they take naturalisation as a means for integration. In Germany, before the reforms of 2000, foreigners had to wait 15 years before being able to file a citizenship application.
11.5.2 Knowledge Production
It is not so easy to talk of ‘knowledge production’ in the field of citizenship and naturalisation. A lot of the literature consists of an exchange of arguments in certain controversies that can hardly be decided by research and ‘knowledge’, but are determined by interests, values and convictions. It is safe to say, however, that there has been knowledge production about behavioural aspects of naturalisation, about the historical and internationally comparative dimension of citizenship and naturalisation, and about the connections between concepts of nation and citizenship.
As to the behavioural aspects there is, for example, new empirical research by Diehl (2007) and Diehl and Blohm (2008) on contextual and individual determinants of naturalisation; while Wunderlich (2005) has studied the subjective side of the naturalisation process. Furthermore, there has been knowledge production in Germany on naturalisation via transfer and reproduction of the laws and experiences of classical immigration countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, and of France. This knowledge includes the function of naturalisation rules in the process of integration (an instrument of integration, not the endpoint of the process), the necessary duration of residence in the country before application, rules on double citizenship, and ceremonial elements of the naturalisation process. As an example for acquiring this knowledge one may cite Hailbronner (1992), Hagedorn (2001) and Thränhardt (2008).
Being more and more mindful of having (unwillingly) become a country of immigration, social scientists, historians and jurists argued that the traditional German concept of nation as a community of descent (Abstammungsgemeinschaft) could no longer be held and that nation and nation-building would have to integrate foreign migrants and their children. Internationally comparative research with a historical dimension greatly helped to slowly bring about a new understanding of the nation. Comparing concepts of nation in Germany and France played a key role in this process (Brubaker 1992; Hagedorn 2001; Schnapper 1995). Scientific works which reflect these influences are found in Oberndörfer (1994), Wollenschläger (1994) and Mommsen (1990), the latter defining the new understanding of the nation in Germany as follows: ‘A new understanding of the nation has evolved in the Federal Republic, which is no longer under the influence of the Kaiserreich. This national consciousness is based on economic achievement and the successful building of a liberal political system and is no longer in contrast to the political cultures of Western Europe and the US’ (Mommsen 1990, 272).
11.5.3 Dialogue Structures and Utilisation
The dialogue structure of the Academies was identified and described in an earlier section. More specifically concerning legal aspects of integration and naturalisation, the Katholische Akademie Hohenheim stands out for organising dialogue and learning between academics, judges, state attorneys, administrators, politicians, journalists and representatives of civil society and the churches. Between 1989 and 2002 twelve workshops on legal aspects of migration, integration and naturalisation were held at this institute. Several volumes published by the Nomos Verlag mirror the discussions that took place. For example, Barwig et al. (1994) is a volume uniquely focused on citizenship and naturalisation in Germany.
Other science-society dialogue structures, in which naturalisation and related issues were a constant topic, resemble the academy model and – like the Hohenheim structure – consist of a series of conferences and workshops over a longer time, sometimes lasting for several days. The Migration Dialogue by the German Marshall Fund of the United States was a series of conferences for a core group of academics, administrators, politicians, representatives of foundations and journalists that took place in different countries, including classical immigration countries like the US and Canada, and the new European immigration countries like Austria, Germany or France. The Migration Dialogue meetings were partly academic workshops, and partly they consisted of field trips. As to enlightenment models the topic of naturalisation was part of the Manifest der 60 that we characterised already in section 3 of this paper. Research and dialogue of the bureaucratic type are found in work by the BAMF research group and their exchange with the Interior Ministry (Worbs 2008; Weinmann et al. 2012)
We now turn to another area of science-society dialogues, namely the education of migrant children.
11.6 Education of Migrant Children
Education is one of the key mechanisms for successful integration of migrant children into German society. International comparative assessment studies, such as TIMSS,11 PISA12 or PIRLS13 are considered as measuring the efficiency and integrative potential of education systems. In Germany, the results of PISA in particular have been widely discussed since its first publication by the OECD in 2001. For the first time, PISA clearly demonstrated that children’s educational success in Germany is largely dependent on their social and ethnic background. We take PISA as a case study to investigate relations between science and integration policy in Germany.
No other study on education before received as much public and political attention as PISA. The results of the first PISA survey in 2001 influenced the educational policy and reform discourses long after the period in question. Even 10 years after the initial ‘PISA shock’ the study and its follow-up replications still determine public debates on education, in which various actors and institutions from policy, science and society take part (politicians, researchers, foundations, trade unions, teachers, churches, welfare and migrant organisations).
11.6.1 The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
The TIMSS-study in the mid 1990s had already highlighted certain strengths and weaknesses of the German educational system. This prompted the German government to opt for participation in other international comparative studies on education. In 1997, the Conference of Ministers of Culture (KMK) voted for Germany’s participation in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) .14 The study aims to provide evidence-based knowledge for policymakers to improve national education systems (PISA Konsortium 2000). Areas tested within the framework of PISA cover three major topics: reading literacy, competences in mathematics and science as well as cross-curricular skills among 15-year old students. In Germany, the ministers of education in the 16 Länder decided for an extension of the PISA-study, which allows comparisons between federal states. The methodological design of the study allows for an in-depth examination of the relationship between social background and student performance. The results of PISA revealed that in Germany educational performance is closely linked to a student’s socio-economic and ethnic background. Compared to other PISA-countries, the German educational system performs worse in compensating for disadvantages resulting from family background.
11.6.2 Knowledge Production: State of Research and General Data on Education
Migrant children and young people with a migration background and their integration processes in the educational system have been topics of research for more than 30 years. Until the new millennium, however, relatively few representative data existed on the situation and educational success of migrant children in Germany. It was PISA in particular that raised public and political awareness about the poor performance of and disadvantages facing children with a migration background in the German school system (Baumert et al. 2006, 397). But PISA also stimulated research activities within the education research community, among them sociologists, pedagogues and linguists, and a wide variety of books and articles analysing the role of migrant children and the school system in general have been published since then (e.g. Kristen 2002, 2006; Diefenbach 2010; Stanat 2006; Stanat and Christensen 2006; Esser 2006; Baumert et al. 2006; Gomolla and Radtke 2002; Auernheimer 2010; Matzner 2012). The scientific and public discussion that emerged revolved around dependence of school performance on social status, institutional discrimination, school structures, language acquisition, early childhood education, and the comparison of educational achievements between certain ethnic groups.
As a result of PISA, several governmental institutions commissioned research of their own. On behalf of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) the most prominent example is the ‘Bildungsbericht’ (education report). The report is published every 2-years by a consortium of research institutions. The first report in 2006 had a particular focus on the situation of children with a migration background. Another publication that recently has been introduced is the annual ‘Bildungsmonitor’ (Education Monitor),15 published by the Initiative for a New Social Market Economy (INSM). This organisation is closely linked to employers, and therefore also rather focused on the economic benefits of an improved education system, including better educational achievements of young adults from migrant families.
11.6.3 Dialogue Structures and Pressure for Change
PISA research did not directly influence education and integration policies. Instead, its enormous impact was forthcoming because the media took up the topic, reinforced it and gave it continuous publicity. The dialogue structure is therefore one which encompasses the OECD publishing the report, the German media picking up the topic and putting pressure on the political system, where it led to a change in mentality (Baumert 2011: 40).
In the first year after the ‘PISA shock’ several hundred articles were published in the leading German print media. ‘… between December 2001 and December 2002 we found 54 articles in Der Spiegel, 81 in FOCUS and 125 in Die Zeit, all directly referring to PISA. In the same period the Süddeutsche Zeitung had 462 articles about PISA. We could not count the numerous talkshows, panel discussions and parliamentary debates’ (Tilmann 2008: 3). PISA continued to be a main topic in the media in the following years. No one had foreseen such levels of attention for such a study.
Increasingly, education and integration policies came under severe criticism and were blamed for the poor results of students in Germany. The media had been the catalyst for spreading the discussion, but other civil society institutions like foundations and unions demanded reforms as well.
11.6.4 Reforms and Knowledge Utilisation
Early childhood education: all Länder have established legal frameworks for early language training at pre-school age. Almost all Länder have carried out standardised language proficiency tests for both children with and without a migration background, and implemented measures for language training at nursery level. Criticism arises, however, that there is a lack of coordinated language programmes among the Länder. Instead, a vast number of measures and temporary projects are realised. The sovereignty of the Länder still appears to challenge the implementation of consistent programmes in the field of early childhood education (Baumert 2011: 41).
Full day schooling: Germany has a tradition of morning instruction in schools and homework activities in the afternoon. This is still the dominant pattern, but processes of change are under way in which more and more schools extend instruction and activities into the afternoon. This stronger role for the school environment is particularly meant to improve opportunities for migrant children, who can get more support in school.
Stronger parent involvement: This again is a general measure, but again it is of particular relevance for migrant parents, since they tend not to participate in school life, unless pro-active measures involving mediators from ethnic communities are undertaken.
Quality management and reporting systems: PISA has produced and continues to produce many new data, but has stimulated other research and measures producing even more data on the performance of the education system. A national education reporting system has been installed; its first edition in 2006 focused on migrant children. Several Länder have introduced performance standards for students and performance testing is no longer an unusual activity.
The analyses of science-society dialogues on education and integration in the course of PISA also demonstrated that ‘research results provided in a political context are also dealt with in a political way. In other words: political action in the area of education cannot only be based […] on thorough considerations of research results in order to derive the “right” measures’ (Tillmann 2008: 12).
The last section on science-society dialogues in Germany concerns the accommodation of new religious diversity that has resulted from immigration.
11.7 Accommodation of New Religious Diversity
Increasing cultural and religious diversity is one of the main social consequences of immigration and a challenge for integration. Most of the issues arising from this challenge of new religious diversity are discussed in relation to Islam, by far the biggest migrant religion. We shall concentrate in this section on Islam as well.
Islam is not organised like the Christian churches. There are many Islamic organisations, but they do not generally fulfil the criteria for being legally recognised as a public body in the same way as the Christian churches. Thus, they cannot enjoy the privileges that are connected to the status of a public body, including the right to give religious instruction in the public school system. Religious Islamic instruction is one of the main issues connected to the status and role of Islam in the school system. Despite the structural problems of legal status many efforts are under way in the different federal states to overcome the obstacles and to ensure Islamic religious instruction.
The problems of legal status are reinforced by widespread Islamophobia in large segments of the population. They have historical roots going back to the conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, but are fuelled by present media. Urban conflicts about the building of representative mosques in city centres are an expression of such tendencies.
Other issues are related to religious practises in everyday life. Dress codes, like wearing a scarf at work, dietary requirements and burial rules are issues that play a role in integration policies and practices.16
Patterns of radicalisation among Islamic migrants and problems of Islamisation are other major issues concerning the integration of the Muslim population. Acts of Islamist terrorism or plots to commit such terrorism, particularly by so-called homegrown terrorists, be it in Germany or other Western countries, fuel anti-Islamic prejudice among the native population, despite the distancing of Islamic organisations from such acts.
11.7.2 Production of Knowledge
‘Orientalistik’ (Oriental Studies) is the traditional historical, archaeological, philological and theological discipline for the study of Middle Eastern countries, cultures and religions. Orientalistik continues to exist, but a modern version has evolved from within the traditional discipline, as well as from ‘outside’, i.e. from other social sciences like sociology and political science: ‘Gegenwartsbezogene Orientforschung’ (Contemporary Oriental Studies). There are departments, institutes and chairs for Gegenwartsbezogene Orientforschung for instance in Bamberg, Berlin, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Hamburg, Marburg and Mainz. As to the most important religion of immigrants, Islam, Orientalistik and Gegenwartsbezogene Orientforschung have greatly contributed to general knowledge production on Islam and on Muslim countries in Germany.
Within Gegenwartsbezogene Orientforschung, but also in other social sciences, a lot of research has been done on aspects of Islam in every day life: on the building of representative mosques, on Muslim social milieus (Wippermann und Flaig 2009), on the scarf, on dietary requirements, and on burials and cemeteries (Lüken-Klaßen and Heckmann 2010, 111–138).
Commissioned by the Interior Ministry, the research department of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has produced empirical research on a wide range of facets of Muslim life in Germany (Haug et al. 2009) and on Islamic communities in Germany (Hahn et al. 2012). The ministry commissioned two other studies on Muslims (Brettfeld und Wetzels 2007) and on young Muslims (Frindtke et al. 2011). The particular interest in these studies was to learn about the potential for the radicalisation of young Muslims and how to prevent that.
11.7.3 Dialogue Structures
Islam has been a topic of nearly all the Akademien in Germany, through which academics could transfer knowledge to a broader public of interested organisations and individuals. A bureaucratic dialogue structure has been installed by the Interior Ministry with the research department of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Within this relation two major empirical studies on Islam were done; one on Muslim life in Germany (Haug et al. 2009) and one on Islamic organisations in Germany (Hahn et al. 2012).
Die Deutsche Islam Konferenz is not a direct dialogue structure between academia and policymakers, but social scientists could play a role within this communication frame. In the preparatory phase of the conference in 2006 academics were involved in consultations with the Interior Minister Schäuble on the relation of the German state with Muslims. In the same year the Deutsche Islamkonferenz was installed as an institutionalised continuous dialogue between the German state (Federal, federal states, cities) and Muslim organisations and individuals. The Islamkonferenz thus is not a dialogue between academics and the polity, but academics have and will play a role in this dialogue as experts for topics dealt with in this influential setting: value consensus in society, equality of sexes, religious instruction of Islam in schools, the teaching of Islamic theology in German universities, media stereotypes of Islam and the prevention of radicalisation and security.
We have identified five basic forms of science-society dialogue in Germany:
Consultancy models and
In the bureaucratic structure, demand for research comes directly from the political and administrative system and the results and uses are under the control of the latter
In the consultancy structure, when policymakers directly engage academic expert knowledge there is a direct relationship as well
The mutual learning model could be identified only at the level of city politics.
In the academy and enlightenment models there are two possible routes for impacting the political system: one in which politicians and administrators are influenced by the messages from these dialogue forums; the other in which the influence of academies and enlightenment is taken up by the media and the political system consequently faces pressure from the media, but has some primacy over what kind of expert knowledge will be transformed into political change. In Germany we observe a development from an initial context in which migration and integration research was ignored by the political system, to the present day situation in which demographic pressures reinforce the influence of migration and integration research.
Official statistics of the Federal Employment Agency only distinguish between total population and foreigners.
Interview with academic in the social sciences.
Interviews with a social scientist and political scientist; see also Wilpert (1984).
Interviews with an academic in the social sciences and a historian.
The research for these sections is based on literature and media analysis. As to the media analysis the efms has had a media reporting system (efms Migration Report; www.efms.uni-bamberg.de) from 1994 to 2008, which gives summaries of political and intellectual developments in migration and integration.
Interviews with an academic in the social sciences and a theologian engaged in intercultural policies.
From 1999 to 2004 the efms prepared and published the Migrationsbericht; since then the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has taken over the report.
Interview with a theologian engaged in intercultural policies.
Interviews with an academic in the social sciences, a political scientist, and a theologian engaged in intercultural policies.
Interview with a theologian engaged in intercultural policies.
Third International Mathematics and Science Study.
Programme for International Student Assessment.
Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.
Konstanzer Beschluss zur Durchführung länderübergreifender Vergleichsuntersuchungen zum Lern- und Leistungsstand von Schülerinnen und Schülern (280. Sitzung der Kultusministerkonferenz, 23./24.10.1997).
See http://www.insm-bildungsmonitor.de/ for more details.
For an overview on solutions for meeting religious needs of Muslim communities in cities see Lüken-Klaßen and Heckmann (2010).
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