The conference brings scholars, policy experts, and practitioners together to articulate the contemporary debates on migration and immigration policy in Germany, and to compare the German case to other European countries as well as North America from interdisciplinary and international perspectives. The focus on immigration from Turkey to Germany over an extended period (1961-2011) will permit a close examination of the dynamics of discourse on immigration, and how these discourses have shaped public attitudes and political debate, which in turn have influenced the course of migration policies in Germany.
Against this background, the following specific questions will be addressed at various conference panels:
- What makes migration in/to Germany different from other countries of immigration?
- In comparison to other European countries, is immigration an exceptional issue in the sociopolitical and historical context of Germany and, if so, what makes it exceptional?
- Historically, how has German society dealt with diversity? What roles do race, ethnicity, and religion play in the incorporation and acceptance of immigrants?
- The 1961 agreement with Turkey was the first signed by Germany with a country considered to be both non-European and Islamic. What significance has this had over the course of the past 50 years, and especially in the years since 9/11?
- What kinds of images of immigrants are created and conveyed by the German mass media? What links can be found between these media representations -- especially those relating to gender-related topics such as violence, oppression, integration and education -- and acceptance of immigrants in the society as a whole?
- Considering the impact of the global economic crisis, have immigrants come to be regarded as economicallysuperfluousand even as obstaclesby native Germans?
- How important are the public policies and overarching legal framework that promote political diversity, equal treatment, and anti-discrimination for immigrant rights and political participation, both in a formal sense and in terms of practical experiences?
Bringing together a wide variety of experts, the conference will further the discussion on the above-mentioned questions and on immigration policies. It aims to add impulses for novel approaches to these issues in which current academic analysis is considered in policy making.