Contact person:
Pål Brunnström
  • Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse
Responsible at Malmö University:
Pål Brunnström
Project members:
  • Brian Shaev
  • Leiden University. Sarah Hackett
  • Bath spa University
Time frame:
01 July 2017 - 31 December 2020

About the project

Before the 1970s there were no national immigrant integration programs in North-western Europe. However, local communities developed their own integration programs. This project compares different aspects of immigrant integration in five European municipalities during the postwar period.

The tone of public discussions in many European countries suggests that large-scale migration is a new phenomenon and that its supposedly novel appearance over the last decades has undermined the fragile foundations of trust that bind citizens, labor markets, and state institutions together in national communities. Yet the present migratory system did not begin with Schengen in the 1980s nor with the Maastricht Treaty and European enlargement in the 1990-2000s. It has its roots in the 1950-60s, when the European Economic Community created new internal borders for a Free Movement of Workers, a system in which Sweden participated as an associated country, while nations like France retained privileged migratory rights for (ex)colonial migrants, and Germany established a mass guest workers program.  

Localities are constrained in how they carry out migrant integration by national and EU decisions and law, but these constraints and regulations often leave a wide scope to local authorities to implement migrant policies as they see fit, and this is also the case historically. The aim of this study is to analyse how European cities managed the influx of immigrant labour, refugees and displaced persons from the 1940s to 1970s. The focal point is directed at labour market integration, linguistic integration and residential integration. This project considers both economically motivated migration characterized by labour migrants, and forced migration embodied by displaced persons and refugees. The research design is a comparative case study of three cities in three western European countries: Dortmund (Germany); Malmö (Sweden); and Bristol (Great Britain).