The 'local turn' in historical perspective: two city case studies in Britain & Germany

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Hackett, S (2017)

This article addresses the ‘local turn’ of migration and integration policies in historical perspective in Newcastle upon Tyne and Bremen. It draws upon a wide range of government documentation and offers a comparative assessment of both cities’ policies from the 1960s onwards. It discusses the vertical dimension of policymaking though an exploration of the local governance of migrant integration in relation to the national level. Although Britain and Germany's post-war immigration histories and political structures have often been perceived as contrasting, this article reveals a convergence in these cities’ governments’ approaches to their own local diverse societies. These case studies question the long-term impact of overarching national constitutional structures on city-level migration policies. Findings are framed within the local governance and multi-level governance MLG debates.\ud \ud Points for practitioners - European cities are increasingly being recognized for the role they play in devising and implementing their own migration and integration policies. Yet very little is known about the relationship between this ‘local turn’ and multi-level governance (MLG). Practitioners can learn more about cities’ policymaking processes and the extent to which these have been influenced by national agendas, as well as about how research of a historical and cross-country and cross-city nature can inform the on-going policy debate.
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