Making Regional Citizens – a Comparison of the Immigrant Integration Policies of Italian Regions and Spanish Autonomous Communities

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Anatomy - Large LT (University of Glasgow)
Christina Isabel Zuber , University of Konstanz
In political systems with an intermediate layer of government immigrant integration tends to fall in the jurisdiction of regions. However, migration scholars have analysed immigrant integration policies either at the state, or at the local level. This paper contributes to filling this gap by comparing immigrant integration policies of autonomous communities in Spain and regions in Italy, two recent immigration countries with an intermediate layer of government and comparable competencies. The paper draws on a novel database of regional integration policy documents, coded through qualitative content analysis to measure the conditions regions set for integrating newcomers socially, economically and culturally in a comparative way. I hypothesise that regional economies, the strength of ethnic/linguistic identities, and the dynamics of regional party competition transforming these structural factors into political conflicts should explain why some regions set tougher, others softer conditions for becoming a full “citizen of the region”(Hepburn 2010).