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Fear, Anxiety, and Immigration in the United States and Western Europe
12 Mar. 2019 -
17:00 - 18:30
Spui 25

Fear, Anxiety, and Immigration in the United States and Western Europe


A public lecture by renowned sociologist Nancy Foner, currently at NIAS as Guest of the Director. With Leo Lucassen and Jan Willem Duyvendak.

About the Lecture

The fears, reporting and political remarks about immigrant origin populations are directed differently on the two sides of the Atlantic. While the religious divide dominates the debate in Western Europe, the United States give greater prominence to race and legal status. What explains these different emphases?

In both Western Europe and the US, fears and anxieties have arisen about immigration as the huge inflows since the end of World War II have dramatically altered the composition of the population in profound ways and created remarkable — new — ethnic, racial, and religious diversity. But if there are transatlantic similarities, tonight we shall focus on the differences. The key question: why have fears and anxieties about immigrant origin populations and their incorporation had different emphases on the two sides of the Atlantic, with the religious divide more central in Western Europe and race and legal status especially pronounced in the U.S?

About Nancy Foner

Nancy Foner is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author or editor of 19 books and more than 120 articles and book chapters. Her books include the award-winning Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe, written with Richard Alba (Princeton University Press, 2015), In a New Land: A Comparative View of Immigration (NYU Press, 2005, ), and From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration(Yale University Press, 2000). Among her other activities, she was a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel on the Integration of Immigrants into U.S. Society and 2014-15 president of the Eastern Sociological Society.  She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2010 Distinguished Career Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association. She was awarded a Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin (2017) and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2017-18). In 2011, she was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.​

About Leo Lucassen

Leo Lucassen is Director of Research of the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam and professor of Global Labour and Migration History at the University of Leiden. He published a.o. The Immigrant Threat: old and new migrants in Western Europe since 1850 (2005); co-edited the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Migration and Minorities (2011); Living in the city: Urban Institutions in the Low Countries, 1200–2010 (2012);  and Globalizing Migration History: the Eurasian Experience (2014); and co-authored, Voorbij Fort Europa: een nieuwe visie op migratie (2016) and Vijf Eeuwen Migratie: een verhaal van winnaars en verliezers (2018). He also publishes regularly in Dutch national newspapers (NRC, Volkskrant, Trouw) on migration, refugees and racism.​