Immigration and Integration

The U.S. and Germany struggle with integrating immigrant populations and crafting immigration policies for the twenty-first century. In Germany, cultural and religious concerns guide the debate, while in the U.S., the debate is focused on socio-economic and security concerns. Looking at policies on both sides of the Atlantic can be useful in understanding how to develop successful policies for immigration and integration, bettering both German and U.S. societies.

Germany Seeks Forgiveness

Germany marked a cathartic moment on February 22nd with a somber ceremony surrounding the deaths of eight individuals killed over a decade by Nazi sympathizers throughout the country(Relatives Seek Closure After Killings Tied to Neo-Nazi Ring, New York Times, Merkel Asks Victims’ Relatives for Forgiveness, Spiegel Online International). The revelation of these… Read more >

Neo-Nazi Terror: An Attack on Democracy, a Failure of Policy


How did a right-wing terrorist group operate in Germany for thirteen years without being detected? In his essay entitled Neo-Nazi Terror: An Attack on Democracy, a Failure of Policy, Dr. Heiko Holste, Visiting Scholar at the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University, looks at the failures of German intelligence in stopping the extremist group known as the “National Socialist Underground” and the government’s underestimation of neo-Nazi groups in Germany.

Is there a “Brown-Army-Faction” in Germany?


In his essay entitled Does a “Braune-Armee-Fraktion” in Germany Exist?, AICGS Non-Resident Fellow Alexander Ritzmann examines whether the “Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund,” or National Socialist Underground (NSD), can be categorized as a terrorist group. Having recently come into the public spotlight following more than a decade of under the radar murders and robberies, the German Federal government, argues Mr. Ritzmann, must be cautious in labeling this newly surfaced group.

50 Years After: What Germany and Turkey Need is a State Treaty


In his essay 50 Years After: What Germany and Turkey Need is a State Treaty, Rana Deep Islam, Ph.D. student at Erlangen University and former DAAD/AICGS Fellow, reflects on the current state of German citizens with a Turkish background following the 50th anniversary of the guest workers agreement between Germany and Turkey. According to Mr. Islam, while German politics have been slow to fully welcome Turkish integration, Berlin must act quickly to forge stronger ties with Ankara.

The Muslim-American Muddle

In his in-depth article “The Muslim-American Muddle” from National Affairs, Professor Peter Skerry examines the identity and crises of Muslim-Americans. While already dealing with being stereotyped by non-Muslim Americans as terrorists, Muslim-Americans must also navigate the many ethnic divisions within their own population. A new approach, argues Professor Skerry, is necessary to move forward.

“Ich bin ein Berliner”- The Immigrant vote in the Berlin elections of 2011


In her essay entitled “‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ – The immigrant vote in the Berlin elections of 2011,” current DAAD/AICGS Fellow Henriette Rytz examines the role, or lack thereof, that immigrants play in Berlin’s elections. While the parties may focus on the issue of integration for immigrant voters, this may not be in line with their real concerns as citizens of both Berlin and Germany.

Kommunale Integrationspolitik


Former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Scott Stock Gissendanner writes that a paradigm shift has occurred in the national framework for local integration policies, resulting in a higher level of policy standardization at the local level. In an essay that was supported by research completed during his stay at AICGS, Dr. Stock Gissendanner argues that as communities try to integrate immigrant populations, the goal is for full integration with permanent residence, a goal which comes from centralized planning at the federal level. This essay originally appeared in the February 14, 2011, edition of Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte and is available in German only.