Workshop Book Presentation in next Imiscoe Annual Conference, Madrid, August 2014

Exploring the Contours of a Theory of Immigration in Multilevel States

E.Hepburn and R. Zapata-Barrero (2014) The Politics of Immigration in Multi-level States  Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave/MacMillan.

This book's presentation is part of the activities organized by the Standing Committee on The Multilevel Governance of Immigration and Immigrant Integration Policies (Chairs: Tiziana Caponio, Peter Scholten and Ricard Zapata-Barrero) 


  • Presentation of the Standing Committee The Multilevel Governance of Immigration and Immigrant Integration Policies by  Peter Scholten, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
  • Welcome and first introduction of the book: Eve Hepburn (University Edinburg)and Ricard Zapata-Barrero (editors) Gritim-UPF
  • Multi-level Governance: Ilke Adam (author),  Institute For European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Stateless Nationalist Party Discourses on Immigration: Nuria Franco (autor), Gritim-UPF)
  • Book’s contributions within migration Studies: Framing the debate: Rainer Baübock (EUI, Florence)


This book draws the first contours of a theory of immigration in multilevel states addressing two themes: governance and political parties. It connects multilevel politics literature with immigration studies examining not only how, and by whom, immigration policy is decided and implemented at different territorial levels, but also how it has became an important dimension of party competition across multilevel states. Six countries have been examined in depth by leading scholars from various disciplines and methodological backgrounds: Belgium (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels), Spain (Catalonia), Canada (Quebec), the United Kingdom (Scotland and London), Italy (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Calabria), Germany (Bavaria), together with the unitary state of the Netherlands and its two competing cities (Amsterdam and Rotterdam). Sharing a common concern for territory and immigration, the editors, Eve Hepburn and Ricard Zapata-Barrero, seek to catalyze and shape future research in this important new field.

"Comparative studies of immigration policies and politics generally regard the state as a single agent or arena. The essays and case studies in this volume show how territorial divisions inside democratic states matter for the governance of immigration as well as for political competition between parties over immigration issues. This book presents the most comprehensive and systematic attempt so far to understand how territorial interests at substate level shape responses to international migration." Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute, Florence.

 “This is an outstanding contribution to theories of immigration policy, focusing on the important but neglected question of substate approaches to immigration. Hepburn and Zapata-Barrero’s book is exemplary in developing a rigorous and compelling theoretical framework, which is then applied to produce rich and nuanced empirical findings across a number of European states. The research shows how distinct approaches to framing and governance have shaped immigration and integration policy at the substate level; but also how these differential dynamics of governance and political mobilisation on immigration have affected wider patterns of central/substate relations. The book looks set to become a key reference point for advanced students and scholars of immigration policy and territorial politics.” Christina Boswell, University of Edinburgh.

The Politics of Immigration in Multilevel States constitutes an ambitious and sustained effort at bringing together the emerging literature on immigration, multilevel governance and political parties. This book innovates in various ways but especially though its account of state as well as substate levels initiatives in the field of immigration and citizenship policies. In addition, scholars mobilized in this project make a major contribution to the expanding literature on multinational democracies.” Alain-G. Gagnon, Université du Québec à Montréal




  1. Introduction: Immigration Policies in Multilevel States; Eve Hepburn and Ricard Zapata-Barrero
  2. Multilevel Governance of Immigration in Multinational States: 'Who governs?' Reconsidered; Ricard Zapata-Barrero and Fiona Barker
  3. Multilevel Party Politics of Immigration: Territorial Rescaling and Party Competition; Eve Hepburn


  1. Divided on Immigration, Two Models for Integration: The Multilevel Governance of Immigration and Integration in Belgium; Ilke Adam and Dirk Jacobs
  2. Canadian Federalism and the Governance of Immigration; Raffaele Iacovino
  3. Managing Immigration in a Multinational Context: Border Struggles and Nationbuilding in Contemporary Scotland and Catalonia; Jean-Thomas Arrighi de Casanova
  4. Migrant Reception Policies in a Multilevel System: Framing and Implementation Structures in the Italian Regions; Francesca Campomori and Tiziana Caponio
  5. The Multilevel Dynamics of Immigrant Integration Policies in Unitary States: the Netherlands and the UK; Peter Scholten


  1. Politicizing Migration in Competitive Party Politics: Exploring the Regional and Federal Arena in Germany and Italy; Oliver Schmidtke and Andrej Zaslove
  2. Regionalist Parties and Immigration in Belgium; Régis Dandoy
  3. FPTP Ain't All That Bad: Nationalist Parties, Immigrants and Electoral Systems in Québec and Flanders; Jan Erk
  4. Immigration, Nationalism and Politics in Scotland; Eve Hepburn and Michael Rosie
  5. 'Catalunya, terra d'acollida': Stateless Nationalist Party Discourses on Immigration in Catalonia; Núria Franco-Guillén and Ricard Zapata-Barrero
  6. Conclusion: Exploring the Contours of a Theory of Immigration in Multilevel States; Ricard Zapata-Barrero and Eve Hepburn

The Editors

Eve Hepburn is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Depute Director of the Academy of Government at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Co-Convenor of the ECPR Standing Group on Federalism and Regionalism. Her research explores comparative territorial politics, multi-level governance, immigration and regionalism in Europe and North America. Her recent publications include Using Europe: Territorial Party Strategies in a Multi-level SystemNew Challenges for Stateless Nationalist and Regionalist Parties and Independence Movements in Subnational Island Jurisdictions.

Ricard Zapata-Barrero is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. His research explores contemporary issues of liberal democracy and citizenship in contexts of diversity and immigration. His recent publications include Diversity Management in Spain: New Dimensions, New Challenges and Addressing Tolerance and Diversity Discourses in Europe: A Comparative Overview of 16 European Countries.



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