Germany after Migration Crisis: Economy, Politics and Society

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-5-41-51
V. Malakhov (,
RANEPA, 82/1, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation 


Abstract. The article examines the social and political situation in Germany after the so called “migration crisis”. In the author’s view, the very term “migration crisis” should not be taken for granted. First, the whole economic and political system undergoes a crisis; migration flows are the consequence but not the cause of this. Second, the situation around migration has been described in the academic literature in terms of crisis for some decades. Third, the framing of the 2015 events in terms of “crisis” diverts attention from the European politicians’ miscalculations in the early 2010s. The author claims that the German chancellor’s decision to allow entrance for a significant number of forced migrants in 2015-2016 was motivated not only by humanitarian reasons. Pragmatic reasons played a great part, too. It was assumed that the benefits of the inflow of an able-bodied population would exceed the costs in the long run. Despite all the frictions in the ruling elites, there is a basic consensus that the integration of newcomers will boost economy. Moreover, the “open door” policy towards refugees was of a short-term nature. In fact, it had been curtailed by the Spring 2016. Various measures had been taken to reduce undesirable immigration: the agreement with Turkey, the adding of Kosovo and a number of North African states plus Afghanistan to the list of “secure countries”, facilitating of deportation procedures, the “Malta agreement” with Tripoli, negotiations with African governments on financial assistance in exchange for efforts to curb immigration, etc. Further, the author turns to the attitudes in the civil society toward immigrants and immigrants’ integration and shows that the “proimmigrant” attitudes should not be underestimated. The majority of ordinary Germans are ready to incorporate the newcomers. At the same time, there is a significant population segment, especially in the East, which feels socially excluded. These people have been main voters of the “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) party. The author argues that the very presence of the Far Right in the Bundestag will have impact both on politics and public debate. It will make the decision-making concerning the immigrants’ integration more difficult, although the AfD faction is too small to block such decisions. The Far Right could also contribute to the transformation of public discourse: due to their activity in the parliament and in mass media the ultra-nationalist rhetoric will stop being a taboo. 

Keywords: international migration, immigration policy, “migration crisis”, refugees, Germany, Far Right 


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For citation:
Malakhov V. Germany after Migration Crisis: Economy, Politics and Society. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 5, pp. 41-51.

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