Surveys in different countries seem to show that attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic minorities have become more positive over time. But are these attitudes in surveys reflected in actual practices? Or are people just more aware of which opinions are acceptable in society? The problem is that practices are difficult to measure. One type of practice that has been studied in the labour market for a long time are hiring practices: are candidates from ethnic minorities or with an immigrant background less likely to be invited for a job interview? In this episode we talk with Dr Valentina di Stasio, a sociologist at Utrecht University and the author of many articles on ethnic discrimination in European labour markets, notably a review of experiments conducted in Britain since the 1960s.

In this episode we discuss the regulation of migrant employment  in the Netherlands with Imke van Gardingen, a policy advisor at the Dutch trade union federation FNV. In the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom or the US, there have been Covid-19 outbreaks in slaughterhouses and other workplaces that employ large numbers of migrant workers. People who have been observing working conditions in these sectors were not surprised: cramped working and conditions, and a business model that minimises costs sometimes at the expense of health and safety. Imke explains how this labour market works and how loopholes in state legislation enable it.

In this episode we take a look at the invisible labour market: the jobs that people in Northern countries don’t want to do, and that are mostly done by migrant workers. They collect items in the warehouse when customers order them online, they pick fruits and vegetables, they pack the meat that is bought at the supermarket. And yet most people don’t really see them, how they work and where they live. It’s a world of low-wages, work agencies, zero-hour contracts and housing on campsites. For this podcast I talked to David, a young migrant from Portugal living in the Netherlands. 


In this episode, we talk about the differences between democracies and autocracies in how they regulate immigration. We could assume that democracies and autocracies have different ways to regulate immigration: democratic governments should support more open immigration policies, while autocrats, in contrast, should push for more closed immigration policies. In her talk, Katharina Natter shows that, in fact, democracies and autocracies have pretty similar immigration policies. Openness or closure don't vary that much by regime type, at least not systematically. This doesn’t mean that the political process democracies and autocracies are similar. Katharina Natter is a political scientist at Leiden University. Her talk was recorded as part of the Leiden interdisciplinary migration seminars.

All around the world, governments are coming up with new technologies to control and monitor the spread of the coronavirus. Controlling the spread of the covid has created an ever expanding demand for data on citizens. What does this mean for democracy and civil liberties? Does this need for data mean a shrinkage of individual rights? Are we witnessing the same rise of state control as after 9/11? Our guest is Matt Longo. Matt is the author of the Politics of Borders (Cambridge University Press). Matt has written extensively on borders, security and human rights after 9/11.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, countries around the world have adopted drastic measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. International mobility has been severely disrupted and governments have imposed severe controls on who can enter their territory. In this episode, we discuss the consequences of the global pandemic for immigration and immigration control, and the inequalities that underpin it. Our guest Lorenzo Piccoli has been tracking restrictions on mobility since the beginning of the crisis. He is a scientific officer at the Swiss national centre for research on mobility “on the the move” at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland and a researcher of GLOBALCIT at the European University Institute, Florence. 

Today we’re talking about the free movement of labor in the European Union and how it can be used to undermine labour legislation in its member states, for instance by "posting" workers from one member state (e.g Romania) to another member (e.g. Belgium). This has been an important topic since the last enlargement of the European Union because of the large difference in wages and labour conditions within the EU. To talk about this, our guest is Jan Cremers, a researcher at Tilburg University and former member of the European Parliament. 

April 29, 2020

#2 Welfare Tourism?

Free movement makes it possible to move and work across the EU, while EU countries have wildly different welfare systems. Some people have been saying that benefits should be cut and access to benefits should be made more difficult for citizens of other countries. But what kind of evidence is there for the idea that people will move to countries where benefits are more generous? To talk about this, we have Dr Petra de Jong (NIDI Demographic Institute)

Prominent politicians on the left are saying that the US should become more like Europe, with higher taxes and more welfare. Yet, is this possible with the current ethnic setup of the US? Some people have argued that the reason why the United States can't be like Denmark is because of immigration, and that ethnic divisions make it more difficult to build a large welfare state. Is there any truth in this?

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