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Syllabus Migration(s) to Germany: Policies Realities and Perceptions - 54858
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Last update 14-09-2021
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: Cont. German Studies:politics, Soc.&Cult

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Gisela Dachs

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: Wednesday 12.00 - 13.00 or by prior arrangement

Teaching Staff:
Prof Gisela Dachs

Course/Module description:
Germany has never been known officially as a country of immigrants, while - de facto – millions of its habitants today are of foreign descent, changing arguably the face of the country. The course examines the historical, economic, legal and cultural transformations associated with various migrations that often generated fervent public debates – from the recruitment of contract workers in the 1950s to the refugee crisis in 2015 and beyond. Furthermore, it focuses on issues raised by contemporary migration dynamics such as integration challenges as well as the role of the nation state, the emergence of Diasporas and their relevance for domestic and foreign policy.

Course/Module aims:

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
-to assess the different migration waves to postwar Germany and their respective political implications
-to define the changing concepts of and approaches with respect to national collective identity.
-to differentiate between the outlook of different political parties
-to analyze media reports and their impact on the public discourse.
-to compare the German case to other European countries

Attendance requirements(%):
90 %

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:

Course/Module Content:

1) Introduction: Is there a German dream? Or what makes migration to Germany special.

Klaus J. Bade (1995) “From Emigration to Immigration: The German Experience in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”. Central European History, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 507-535.


2) Newcomers from the south of Europe: Guest workers from Turkey, Greece and Italy

Rita Chin (2007), Introduction, in: The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany,


3) Political changes and citizenship law - From Ethnic to Civic Nation

Inthorn, Sanna, (2007) German Citizenship: from Ethnic to Civic Nation? In: German Media and National Identity.

3.11. 2021

4) The “refugee crisis” 2015 – from “refugees welcome” to “migrants unwelcome”
‘Refugees welcome?’
The interplay between perceived threats and general concerns on the acceptance of refugees – a factorial survey approach in Germany”, Hagen von Hermanni& Robert Neumann (2019) Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45:3, 349-374,

Jasper Tjaden, Tobias Heidland (2021) Does welcoming refugees attract more migrants? The myth of the ‘Merkel effect’ , KIEL WORKING PAPER NO. 2194


5) Theoretical approaches in migration studies, transnationalism, integration models, methodological nationalism

Naika Foroutan, (2019) The Post-migrant Paradigm, in: Refugees Welcome?: Difference and Diversity in a Changing Germany, Edited by Jan-Jonathan Bock and Sharon Macdonald.pp 142-165.

Roger Waldinger (2017) A cross-border perspective on migration: beyond the assimilation/transnationalism debate, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43:1,


6) Challenges of integration: Between German leitkultur, and cultural diversity,

Isabelle Hertner (2021): Germany as ‘a country of integration’? The CDU/ CSU’s policies and discourses on immigration during Angela Merkel’s Chancellorship, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies,

Ruud Koopmans (2018) Cultural Rights of Native Majorities between Universalism and Minority Rights.


7) Reactive ethnicity among third generation migrants

Çetin Çelik (2015) “‘Having a German passport will not make me German’: reactive ethnicity and oppositional identity among disadvantaged male Turkish second-generation youth in Germany”, Ethnic and Racial Studies,

Jan-Philip Steinmann (2019) “The paradox of integration: why do higher educated new immigrants perceive more discrimination in Germany?, Journal of Ethnic and
Migration Studies, 45:9, 1377-1400.


8) Freedom of Religion or Freedom from Religion: Who has to adjust to whom?

Christian Joppke, (2007) State neutrality and Islamic headscarf laws in France and Germany. Theory and Society 36, 313–342.

Fabian Spengler (2019) Sharʿī norms and German Schools: Court Challenges to Participation in Swimming Lessons, School Trips and Sex Education, Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, 30:3, 363-382,


9) Gender issues

Stefanie C Boulila, Christiane Carri Humboldt (2017) “On Cologne: Gender, migration and unacknowledged racisms in Germany ». European Journal of Women’s Studies 2017, Vol. 24(3) 286–293

Ilgin Yorukoglu (2014) Acts of Belonging: Perceptions of Citizenship Among Queer Turkish Women in Germany, City University of New York

Further reading: David Kretschmer (2018) Explaining differences in gender role attitudes among migrant and native adolescents in Germany: intergenerational transmission, religiosity, and integration”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44:13, 2197-2218.


10) Migrating into a past: “The Holocaust is not my narrative”.

Sina Arnold and Jana König (2019) ’One Million Antisemites?’ Attitudes toward Jews, the Holocaust, and Israel. An Anthropological Study of Refugees in Contemporary Germany Antisemitism Studies, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 4-45

Further reading:
Marc David Baer,(2013) “Turk and Jew in Berlin: The First Turkish Migration to Germany and the Shoah”, Comparative Studies in Society and History; 55(2):330–355.


11) Inner-German affairs – the East/West exodus and migration to the GDR

“On the Origin and Composition of the German East-West Population Gap”, (2018) Christoph Eder, Martin Halla, CD-Lab Aging, Health, and the Labor Market, IZA and Austrian Public Health Institute.


12) Returning “diaspora”: the resettlement of Ethnic Germans

“Insecure Belongings: A Family of Ethnic Germans from the Former Soviet Union in Germany” Jana Ballenthien & Corinne Büching, (2009).

“What Is the German’s Fatherland? The GDR and the Resettlement of Ethnic Germans from Socialist Countries (1949–1989)”,Jannis Panagiotidis, (2015) East European Politics and
Societies and Cultures. 29 (1)


13) Jewish postwar migration to Germany: Israelis in Berlin, Jews from the former Soviet Union in Germany.

Larissa Remennick (2005) ‘Idealists Headed to Israel, Pragmatics Chose Europe’: Identity Dilemmas and Social Incorporation among Former Soviet Jews who Migrated to Germany, Immigrants and Minorities, 23:1, 30-58.

îňářé-âáĺě – éůřŕě-âřîđéä
“Der kleine Grenzverkehr Israel-Deutschland“, Moshe Zimmermann (in Hebrew) - also available in German- (2016) in Anita Haviv, Grenzen-los? Deutsche in Israel und Israelis in Deutschland.


14) Concluding class - Outlook - A European Perspective

Rainer Münz, (2020) How will migration to Europe look in the Future? Trends, open questions, and four plausible scenarios.

Required Reading:
all the reading material will be posted in the Moodle at the beginning of the semester

Additional Reading Material:
see the course description

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 30 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 70 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
1. Exercise (within the first two weeks) (not graded)
Send a link to a news item about migration and a short paragraph explaining why it caught your interest.

2. Presentation
Oral presentation, based on one of the articles on the syllabus.

3. Final paper
The final paper will be 2700 words (not including bibliography). The bibliography will include at least 3 items from the syllabus. (70% of the final grade).

Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.