Introduction: Migration and Divided Societies

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    The academic literature on divided societies emerged from the study of colonial societies that were characterized by sharp and persistent cleavage along ethnic lines, and the study of consociational democracies in which there are power-sharing arrangements between two or more groups in an ethnically segmented society. The study of divided societies emerged historically at a moment when there was a growing interest in the study of immigration and inter-ethnic relations in developed industrial nations. These two sets of literature—on divided societies and on immigration and inter-ethnic relations—have developed largely in isolation from each other. Both sets of literature have also tended to focus on inter-ethnic relations, and have paid much less attention to migration. In this article, it is argued that there are a number of reasons why it is worth trying to encourage dialogue across these two sets of literature. In making the case: what is meant by the term divided society is examined; some of the ways in which the issue of migration has changed in three different divided societies—Bosnia, Northern Ireland and South Africa—are outlined; the topic of immigration and integration is examined; and some ways in which the study of divided societies might benefit from engaging more seriously with the literature on migration are suggested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-170
    Number of pages17
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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