South Tyrol: the importance of boundaries for immigrant integration
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Using South Tyrol as a case study, this article analyses how boundaries between groups and their institutionalisation through power-sharing arrangements affect the politics of immigrant integration. Through a longitudinal qualitative analysis of party manifestos, the article focuses on the period between 1993 and 2013 to evaluate the immigration and integration discourses of political parties, claiming to represent the German and Ladin minorities. It is argued that these parties have deliberately framed immigration as a challenge to the strength of their respective cultures and languages, as well as the array of institutions that support the separate but equal coexistence of South Tyrol's linguistic groups. The consequence of this tendency to ‘think in groups’ is that the main political parties of the German and Ladin minorities are shoring up group boundaries and advancing an assimilationist model of immigrant integration. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.