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Terrorism or National Identity? Immigrant Integration and Security Policy Since September 11 Betsy Cooper St. Johns College, Oxford 17 December 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Terrorism or National Identity? Immigrant Integration and Security Policy Since September 11 Betsy Cooper St. Johns College, Oxford 17 December 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Terrorism or National Identity? Immigrant Integration and Security Policy Since September 11 Betsy Cooper St. Johns College, Oxford 17 December 2008

2 Overview Present: How has terrorism affected immigrant integration policy in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada? Future: Should it? Will it? Conclusions

3 Definitions: Key Terms TERRORISM: a form of political violence or fear- inducing action targeting civilians outside the conduct of a declared war between nations (Reid 2002: 2) Only includes immigration-related terrorists – those with first/second generation immigrant background IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION POLICY: an umbrella concept for settlement policies targeting immigrants and their families; contrasts with admissions and interior enforcement Broad integration strategies, plus noncitizen welfare benefits, naturalization, and policies targeting religion KEY QUESTION: How, if at all, has terrorism affected the development of immigrant integration policy in the UK/Canada/France/US? 9/11 theory: would predict greater effects in countries with terrorist attacks post-9/11

4 Methods and Case Selection METHODS: Process tracing of legislation and parliamentary debates; Content analysis of government documents; Elite interviews (off the record) Mainly post-9/11 policies considered but some from 1990 forward for comparison CASE SELECTION: Diverse selection on independent variable US had 9/11 UK had terrorist attack after 9/11 France had terrorist attack before 9/11 Canada had no terrorist attacks in relevant period

5 Present: Effects of Terrorism on Integration Policy Little effects in most policy areas The UK No evidence that terrorism played any significant role in retraction of benefits to noncitizens in mid-1990s UK citizenship reforms were already proposed before both 9/11 and the 2001 disturbances Blunkett had revised the citizenship curriculum in the late 1990s, and planning for the immigrant citizenship test was a logical follow-on. The same adviser, Bernard Crick, was in charge of both Refugee integration policy in the UK also shows no significant effects from terrorism (though admissions were likely affected)

6 Present: Effects of Terrorism on Integration Policy The US Refugee numbers cut (stop; material support), affecting refugee resettlement program. Citizenship test redesign already started before 9/11. Protests against proposed homegrown radicalization committee. France Despite 1994-1995 terrorist attacks, little effect on citizenship policy reforms (which were reversed by late 1990s anyway). Citizenship contract and extended time required for naturalization following 9/11 – but little sign terrorism played a role. No major changes to welfare benefits policy. Canada Most major integration programs already in place before 1990. Multiculturalism Department debate (circa 1991): Only mention of terrorism (following Air India bombing) was John Nunziata criticizing how the government phoned the Prime Minister of India to offer condolences when most of those killed were Canadians.

7 Present: The Elephant in the Room – Muslim Integration Integration policies for Muslims have in some cases changed directly as a result of terrorism in the UK… 2002 – Project CONTEST – prevent strand focuses on integration and reducing social deprivation 2005 – Preventing Extremism Together working group report mentions integration 31 times Anti-radicalization division was underneath Community Cohesion Unit in Home Office, and now part of Race, Faith, and Communities Commission for Integration and Cohesion initiated directly out of the 7/7 attacks And sometimes as a result of security shocks in France French foulard affair largely gained attention in times when terrorism was a low priority on the policy agenda in mid-1990s, but passed ban on headscarf after 9/11 Sarkozy states that French Muslim Consultative Council can help prevent radicalization A number of major changes to integration policy occurred following 2005 riots (family integration contract; integration ministry; requirement for integration abroad), accompanied by discourse about failings of integration especially for Muslims

8 Present: The Elephant in the Room – Muslim Integration But not in all countries under consideration USA Special registration program; voluntary interviews; absconder apprehension initiative BUT – targeting of nonimmigrants and illegals. Legal residents and citizens of immigrant origin were generally excluded "Muslim Americans make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country," Bush said on September 17. "They need to be treated with respect…. The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam."

9 Present: How the Countries Compare Terrorism has less than an effect than might be expected in many policy areas overall. Unequal effects: Terrorism caused more policy changes in France and Britain than in the USA and Canada. Overall integration policy is more similar in pairs: US-Canada, Britain-France. (Possible Exception: Quebec closer to France) Note that this does not follow predicted pre-post 9/11 relationship

10 Present: Why countries react differently? Starting Point of Policies Some theorize that the US and Canada had more developed naturalization policies. The UK and other European countries are catching up. BUT… policies across countries still have many key differences. Many countries now have more requirements than the North American countries do. Type of Terrorist Attack It is argued that the US has a different type of terrorist population which comes from outside the country while European terrorists are homegrown. The US does have a higher percentage of terrorists who use immigration laws to enter the state and commit terrorist activity But about 50 percent of US terrorists had 1) immigrated and radicalized while living there, or 2) were born in the US or resident there since childhood. Even one of the 9/11 terrorists had lived there in the mid-1990s.

11 Present: Why countries react differently? (2) Size of Muslim Population Countries with large Muslim populations like the UK have indeed passed more integration legislation. But countries with relatively small Muslim populations (Australia) have responded too, whether or not they had a terrorist attack National Identity (the abbreviated version) Recurs incessantly in debates, congressional hearings, and government documents about integration

12 Present: Why countries react differently? (3) National Identity (the abbreviated version) Some countries perceive themselves as nations of immigrants and are relatively comfortable with this self-perception. The idea that terrorism is caused by poor integration contradicts this self-perception. Other countries tend to perceive immigration as a key national identity problem, and the threat of terrorism fits into this discourse. France: Immigrants threaten core French principles (secularism; equality of men and women) Britain: Is in the midst of an identity crisis, of which immigration is one cause. Quebec: Also perceived tensions with identity, though immigrants play ambiguous role in this process

13 Present: Why countries react differently? (4) National Identity (the abbreviated version) Tony Blair defined the problem of the 7/7 bombers as one of sharing separate values, and used this example to highlight how British multiculturalism could succeed only if accompanied with a duty to integrate, to accept the shared boundaries within which we are all obliged to live – terrorism incorporated into pre-existing identity discourse Interaction effect: countries with a less permeable national identity (like the United Kingdom) are more likely to take terrorism into account when developing integration policy

14 Future: Should States Consider Effects on Terrorism when Designing Integration Policies? Sample of 37 accused terrorists from Britain from the 7/7 and 7/21 London bombings in 2005, the 2006 Heathrow* and 2007 failed Glasgow airport plots, or for operating terrorist websites since 2005 (drawn from wider 500+ person database) Economic Integration The average person had completed high school and was enrolled in university Most came from a lower or middle class background, though several were from the upper class. The vast majority had work experience. *After these numbers were pulled together, most were not convicted. A retrial for seven defendants is pending. Their exclusion would not substantially change the results, which match with those from the broader database.

15 Future: Should States Be Considering Integration in Their Policies? Political Integration At least 12 individuals had British citizenship; eight more involved with the Heathrow airport plot were likely also citizens. Three were thought to be naturalized. Only 2 were known to be in the country illegally. Socio-cultural Integration The vast majority are fluent in English At least 8 of the accused terrorists were in some way involved with their community, be it through sports, mainstream cultural associations, or volunteer work. Identificational Integration Lack of evidence – growing body of research suggests that identity crises may lead to radicalization

16 Conclusions: Integration and Terrorisms Future National identity matters more than terrorism in defining how integration policy reform occurs, and this will likely continue. Countries with a permeable national identity are overall less likely to incorporate terrorism into integration policy All countries are likely to believe that their integration model is best to prevent terrorism (French secularism; Canadian multiculturalism) On the one hand, terrorism can lead to a Muslim moment – as it has in the UK –which can bring increased attention and funding to these (often) disadvantaged populations. On the other hand, poor integration does not seem to cause terrorism.

17 Thanks for Listening! Betsy Cooper St. Johns College Oxford University

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