Rethinking National Identity in the Age of Migration

Large-scale immigration has led to unprecedented levels of diversity around the globe, transforming communities in fundamental ways and challenging long and closely held notions of national identity. The backlash against immigration has manifested itself in Europe in recent years partly through vocal criticism of “multiculturalism,” and in the United States as a growing tendency to conflate immigration and illegality. A chorus of European leaders has claimed that the very policies that aimed to weave societies together have instead split them apart, emphasizing difference rather than building community, while in the United States, immigration is increasingly a topic inspiring political discord and high emotion.

As people feel the social fabric of their communities fraying, they have tightened their grip on the things they hold most dear — their identity, language, culture, and values. In response, many countries have narrowed the rights to residence and citizenship and attempted to more rigidly enforce cultural conformity. These topics have been the focus of significant research by the Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration, including the relationship between immigration and nativism in Europe and North America.

Watch the video.

When: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Where: Migration Policy Institute
1400 16th Street, NW
Suite 300 (Third Floor)
Washington, DC 20036
Speakers: Patrick Simon, Director of Research, Institut national d’études démographiques (INED), and Researcher at the Center for European Studies (CEE) at Sciences Po, ParisCas Mudde, Assistant Professor, Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia

Charles Kamasaki, Executive Vice President, National Council of La Raza

Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice

Moderator: Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President, Migration Policy Institute
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