chapter  9
Discussion article: Diversity – a new mode of incorporation?
ByThomas Faist
Pages 20

Diversity has grown, as evidenced by the increasing heterogeneity of migration in terms of countries of origin, ethnic and national groups, religions, languages, migratory channels, and legal status. In recent years the number of countries of origin from which people migrate has multiplied. For example, while there were only around a dozen countries of origin in the 1960s from which people migrated to Germany, in 2004 approximately 50 per cent of migrants came from

ten countries of origin including Turkey, Poland, Russia, the US, and the states of the former Yugoslavian territory. The remaining 50 per cent of migrants came from over 100 different countries (BAMF 2005, p. 121). As to the composition of the migrant population, the proportion of newer, smaller groups in relation to older, larger groups of migrants has grown. The changes in the northern German city of Hamburg between 2003 and 2006 are representative of many large German and European cities. In particular, the share of the population of Turkish descent is declining whereas the share of migrants from Poland is on the increase and, most interestingly, some groups that were hitherto not particularly strongly represented, such as migrants from Ukraine, the Philippines, Togo, Vietnam and India, have shown particularly large growth within just a few years (Statistikamt Nord 2007). Similar tendencies, often even more pronounced, apply to other European cities such as London, Lisbon, Barcelona, Milan, Amsterdam and Copenhagen (Alexander 2004, p. 60). The general population structure has also become more heterogeneous through migration. From a historical perspective, current developments represent a reverse of the trend towards cultural homogenization that took place from the First World War until the early 1950s. As to the demographic effects, taking Spain a country of just over 46 million people the population of immigrant origin has soared from around half a million in 1996 to over 5 million; that is, from less than 1 per cent to 11 per cent in about ten years. Linguistic and religious differentiation patterns now tend to overlap in Western European cities, at least at both ends of the societal hierarchy (Kraus 2008). This ‘new medievalism’ can be seen as an expression of a partial, successive disaggregation of territory, political control, and cultural practices. Lately, astute observers have labelled the accumulation of these phenomena regarding migration channels, countries of origin, linguistic heterogeneity, religious diversity, and policy responses as ‘super-diversity’ (Vertovec 2007).