Laura Westerveen is working on Governing ethnic and racial inequalities in education and employment: Colour-blind and color-conscious policy frames in Belgium and Germany.
Over the last fifty years, growing second and later generations of migrants together with rising naturalization rates, have considerably increased the share of people with a migrant background among the citizenry of West-European countries. However, much of the literature in the field continues to focus on integration policies for newly arriving migrants, as opposed to equality and anti-discrimination policies targeted at citizens with a migrant background. This Ph.D. project explores how European countries respond to persisting inequalities faced by citizens of migrant origin by studying policy frames regarding ethno-racial inequalities in Belgian and German education and employment policy through a critical frame analysis (Verloo, 2005) of policy documents and interviews, the first part of the research analyses the different framings of ethnic (in)equality as a policy problem in the cases under analysis. Drawing from the literature on race policies, it develops an analytical framework that distinguishes between color-conscious policy frames that focus on individual deficits or structural disadvantages on the one hand, and color-blind policy frames that deny the existence of ethno-racial inequalities or replace this policy problem with a focus on socio-economic inequality, on the other hand. The second part of the research adopts a comparative analysis. Through within and between case comparison, it aims to provide possible explanations for trends towards certain policy frames and the differences and similarities in these frames between the different countries, regions, and policy fields. In this way, the project can yield new insights into how ethno-racial inequalities in education and employment are conceived and framed in public policy and how changes in these policy frames can be explained.
Stay at MPI-MMG:
January - March 2018