Gender and the ‘integrationist turn’ - Comparative perspectives on marriage migration in the UK and Sweden | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437


Family migration policies are part of a larger integration policy trend referred to as the ‘civic integrationist turn’. States across Europe have moved away from more rights-based approaches for the integration of immigrants towards a stronger emphasis on obligations, implying that new arrivals must prove to have attained certain integration achievements before accessing rights in the host country. This development has to be understood in relation to growing concerns about national identity and social cohesion where immigrant groups are seen to pose a threat to existing liberal values. Arguably, discourses of gender equality are at the heart of this debate, and have pushed the question of women’s emancipation closer to the borders of Fortress Europe. It is in this context that we locate our paper on gender equality discourses on family re-unification policies and more specifically marriage migration in the UK and Sweden. The rationale behind our comparative approach is that these countries share a similar ‘multicultural’ integration policy legacy and were previously regarded to be the most committed to the ‘multicultural programme’. But while the UK has made significant policy moves, with the introduction of stricter requirements, Sweden remains reluctant towards the use of civic conditioning of rights as an integration policy tool.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): civic-integrationism; equality; gender; immigrant; marriage; migration
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