Harlon Koff, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
Abstract: Immigration has become one of the most prominent issues in world politics and one of the most studied phenomena in the social sciences. However, divergences exist between immigration as a political phenomenon and the response of the academic community to the issue. First, immigration issues are complex because they encompass questions related to almost every aspect of the host society. However, because of practical necessity and the recent focus in the social sciences on micro level analysis, migration research often addresses highly specific questions, rather than exploring the broader relationships among different arenas of immigrant integration. Second, native-born residents are usually interested in the impact of immigration on their immediate surroundings. However, academic research on migration focuses mainly on its national and international aspects and ignores comparative sub-national analysis. Koff’s presentation attempts to address these disconnects by comparing integration politics and policies in two French cities (Lille and Toulouse) and two Italian cities (Florence and Bari), with special attention to immigrant integration in the arenas of politics, markets, housing, and crime. He will also suggest avenues for interdisciplinary dialogue in immigration research.