The History of Migration in Europe belies several myths by arguing, for example, that immobility has not been the "normal" condition of people before the modern era. Migration (far from being an income-maximizing choice taken by lone individuals) is often a household strategy, and local wages benefit from migration. This book shows how ssuccesses arise when governments liberalize and accompany the international movements of people with appropriate legislation, while failures take place when the legislation enacted is insufficient, belated or ill shaped.
Part I of this book addresses mainly methodological issues. Past and present migration is basically defined as a cross-cultural movement; cultural boundaries need prolonged residence and active integrationist policies to allow cross-fertilization of cultures among migrants and non-migrants. Part II collects chapters that examine the role of public bodies with reference to migratory movements, depicting a series of successes and failures in the migration policies through examples drawn from the European Union or single countries. Part III deals with challenges immigrants face once they have settled in their new countries: Do immigrants seek "integration" in their host culture? Through which channels is such integration achieved, and what roles are played by citizenship and political participation? What is the "identity" of migrants and their children born in the host countries?
This text's originality stems from the fact that it explains the complex nature of migratory movements by incorporating a variety of perspectives and using a multi-disciplinary approach, including economic, political and sociological contributions.
"[…] the book merits praise, notably for taking on the extensive task of delineating the development of European migration policy from its informal roots at the national level through both initially unsuccessful and subsequently binding supranational coordination. The historical survey remains remarkably succinct and balances its attention between national and international policymaking. Appropriately, the primary sources reflect deep archival research at both levels, and Comte must be commended for collating sources from across multiple languages. Particularly for social scientists that often synthesise the primary research of others, this book offers a rich body of information and analysis uniting national politics and economics within a dynamic framework that traces the emergence of European governance of migration."
- Alexander Caviedes, State University of New York
Part 1. Who are the migrants and what is their impact 1. Quantifying and Qualifying Cross-cultural Migrations in Europe since 1500: a Plea for a Broader View 2. Migration as a Historical Issue 3. Maritime History and History of Migration: Combined Perspectives 4. "We are all Transnationals now": the Relevance of Transnationality for Understanding Social Inequalities 5. Immigration, Diversity and the Labour Market Outcomes of Native Workers: Some Recent Developments Part 2 Migrations and politics 6.European Migrants after the Second World War 7. Migrants and European Institutions: a Study on the Attempts to Address the Economic and Social Challenges of Immigration in EU Member States 8. Irish Immigration Then and Now 9. Italian Illegal Emigration after World War II and Illegal Immigrants in Italy Today: Similarities and Differences 10. A new Italian Migration Toward Australia? Evidences from the Last Decades and Associations with the Recent Economic Crisis Part 3 Migrations and citizenship 11.From Economic Integration to Active Political Participation of Immigrants: the Belgium Experience from Paris to the Maastricht Treaty (1950-1993) 12. Living on the Edge: Migration, Citizenship and the Renegotiation of Social Contracts in European Border Regions 13. Who Am I? Italian and Foreign Youth in Search of Their National Identity