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The UPSTREAM project examines the rationale and impact of the mainstreaming of integration governance.

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With Elizabeth Collett and Milica Petrovic (MPI-Europe), I’ve co-authored an article titled ‘Mainstreaming Migrant Integration? A critical analysis of a new trend in integration governance.’ The article is based on empirical research done in the context of an MPI project on mainstreaming (link) and an EIF funded project coordinated by Erasmus University on Mainstreaming Integration Governance (UPSTREAM).

The article will figure as part of a special issue of the International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS) on ‘Theorizing the Local Turn in the Governance of Immigrant Policies: a Multi-Level Approach’, edited by Ricard Zapata-Barrero, Tiziana Caponio and me.

Abstract: Mainstreaming is a conceptualized as a shift in policy focus (from specific to generic) as well as in governance (from centric to poly-centric). Whereas mainstreaming has been applied in various areas such as gender, disability and environment, a more recent application concerns migrant integration. This article provides a critical analysis of mainstreaming as a supposed ‘trend’ in migrant integration policies. It provides a conceptual discussion of what mainstreaming means in the field of migrant integration, in an effort to connect the concept of mainstreaming as used in other fields to the literature on migrant integration. Subsequently, it provides an empirical analysis of integration policies and governance in Denmark, France, Germany and the UK. The article concludes that mainstreaming in the field of migrant integration is only ‘partial’. There is indeed a clear trend toward more poly-centric governance and toward generic policies. However, such policies do barely involve efforts to create a generic awareness of migration-related diversity. Furthermore, in various cases we found clear cases of the explicit pursuit of replacement strategies.