The effects of welfare state universalism on migrant integration

2019-10-15T09:08:58Z (GMT) by Anthony Kevins Kees van Kersbergen
This paper investigates how and why welfare state universalism can shape the integration of migrants into the national community. Universalism is broadly regarded as central to the integrative and solidarity-building potential of welfare states, but we argue that the traditional approach to understanding the concept is fraught with inconsistencies. Rather than comparing welfare states using the classical universalist/selectivist dichotomy, we suggest that they should be thought of as embodying various 'packages' of universalist traits – all of which are unified by their connection to a core, self-sustaining logic of solidarity. A comparison of Canadian and Danish universalism allows us to draw out how (indiscriminate/selectivist) 'community perks' traits and (inclusive/exclusive) 'community scope' ones may interact in unexpected ways. This, in turn, helps us better understand how and why 'classically universalist' Denmark is facing threats to solidarity and migrant integration that are much more intense than those found in 'classically selectivist' Canada.