The Migration Seminar
The Migration Society 2.0 Lecture Series:
Beyond National Identity: Shared Membership, Deservingness, and Inclusive Solidarity in Diverse Societies

Keith Banting is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Studies and Stauffer Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies. His research interests focus on public policy in Canada and other contemporary democracies. He has had a long-standing interest in the politics of social policy, and has extended this research to include ethnic diversity, immigration and multiculturalism. He is the author and editor of over twenty books, and the author or co-author of a long list of articles and book chapters. His publications have been translated in seven languages.

What are the sources of solidarity in diverse societies? In particular, what are the sources of an inclusive solidarity, which includes immigrants and minorities in the redistributive benefits of the welfare state? The argument presented here builds on the intuition in liberal nationalism that solidarity is rooted in a sense of shared membership in a national community, but moves beyond the focus on the national identity of the majority population which dominates existing research. We argue that inclusive solidarity depends not just on the majority’s own sense of national identity, but also their perception of whether immigrants and minorities are equally committed to membership in the nation. We track this second dimension by examining the public’s perceptions of the deservingness of these minorities for social support. If nationhood entails an ethic of membership, the public’s judgments of deservingness will depend not just on perceptions of whether immigrants and minorities are hard-working or in  need, but also on whether these groups are seen as committed to the national community, as willing members of “us”. We draw empirical support for this hypothesis from a custom-designed survey in Canada, which explored majority perceptions of immigrants and ethnic minorities.  The evidence confirms our argument that judgments of deservingness for social support reflect whether the majority thinks newcomers and minority groups identify with the national community, accept the rules by which the community governs itself, and are prepared to contribute to the sharing of resources when they can. The talk will reflect on the empirical issues and normative dilemmas raised by these findings.

The seminar will be held in English and online. If you would like to participate, send an email to

More information at the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare website