Terri E. Givens, Rachel Navarre, and Pete Mohanty

Apr 22, 2021

Immigration in the 21st Century

The Comparative Politics of Immigration Policy

Routledge 2020

Immigration in the 21st Century: The Comparative Politics of Immigration Policy (Routledge, 2020) is an excellent primer for those looking to understand the complexities of immigration not only as a policy arena, but the study of immigration and migration, and to get a sense of the different approaches to immigration from a variety of kinds of countries. Terri Givens, Rachel Navarre, and Pete Mohanty have written a sophisticated and accessible text that would be of interest to anyone who wants to learn a bit more about immigration. The authors explain the different approaches to immigration taken by different countries, depending on the historical and political contexts of those countries. They group countries together into categories, with defining characteristics that contribute to the form and shape of the immigration policies that have been implemented. Attention is paid to the post-World War II European shifts in immigration and policies that provided avenues for workers to help with the rebuilding of places like Germany and France. There is also a discussion of the way that globalization has contributed to the evolution of immigration processes, and how migration is also participating in the shape of newer policies and political responses. In our conversation, Givens explains the way that sovereignty and nation building provide the framing for immigration policies and how nations think about those whom they allow to become citizens.

Immigration in the 21st Century provides an understanding of immigration from a practical perspective, contextualizing it in the world that came out of World War II. This book also integrates the role that the Cold War played in both immigration and migration during the period of tension between the East and the West, and then what happened after the end of the Cold War. In our conversation, Givens notes the differences between immigration, which is generally a public and political policy that a nation puts into place, and migration, which follows the flow of people from one place to another place, often because of a triggering event, like war and conflict, or climate change. We also discuss the different policies that govern the trade of goods across borders and the more complicated nature of implementing policies that govern the movement of people across borders. Immigration in the 21st Century is a useful and thoughtful analysis of the complexities of immigration in the modern world.

Terri Givens also has a website devoted to the book itself and updating information about immigration. Here is the link to that website, which also includes a coupon for a discount on the book: https://www.terrigivens.com/immigration/

Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj.

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Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI.

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