Contesting ethnic immigration: Germany and Israel compared

Christian Joppke, Zeev Rosenhek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After World War II, Israel and Germany adopted curiously similar policies of ethnic immigration, accepting as immigrants only putative co-ethnics. The objective of this article is to account for the main variation between the two cases, the resilience of Jewish immigration in Israel, and the demise of ethnic-German immigration in Germany. The very fact of divergent outcomes casts doubt on conventional accounts of ethnic immigration, which see the latter as deriving from an ethnic (as against civic) definition of nationhood. We point instead to the possibility of 'liberal' and 'restrictive' contention surrounding ethnic immigration, and argue that for historical and geopolitical reasons the political space for such contention has been more constricted in Israel than in Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-335
Number of pages35
JournalArchives Europeennes de Sociologie
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

RAMBI publications

  • Immigrant absorption -- Israel
  • Immigrants -- Israel -- Social conditions
  • Israel -- History -- Philosophy
  • Israel -- Population
  • National characteristics, Israeli
  • State, The -- Philosophy
  • Zionism -- Philosophy


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