The production of diversity in municipal administrations: change and persistence of organisations in increasingly diverse societies

Christine Lang

International migration has fundamentally changed Western European cities in the past decades. However, this is often little reflected in the staff of public administrations. The discrepancy between a growing migrant population and the mostly native ‘white‘ public workforce is large, raising questions of representation and equal opportunities. At the same time, in a number of countries public and political demands have been growing louder to employ more employees with a migration background in the public service. Drawing on a qualitative-ethnographic study on public administrations in Berlin and on organisational theory, this project investigates if and how the employment of staff members of immigrant descent in municipal administrations is changing and which factors contribute to change, or persistence, of organisational practices and structures. Based on an award-winning PhD dissertation, the project includes a book publication (published 2019 at Springer under the title “Die Produktion von Diversität in städtischen Verwaltungen. Wandel und Beharrung von Organisationen in der Migrationsgesellschaft”), three journal articles (currently under revision and in progress) and two book chapters (submitted, forthcoming).

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