3 Theoretical framework in:

Lilija Wiebe

Rethinking Social Integration, page 37 - 50

Comparing Martha Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach and Friedrich Heckmann's Theory of Integration for the Context of Refugees

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4434-6, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7448-0,

Series: Wissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Tectum Verlag: Sozialwissenschaften, vol. 93

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
37 3 Theoretical framework 3.1 Introduction The objective of this study is to combine an approach, which is rooted in Development work, with a German sociological immigrant integration theory. The theoretical frameworks are derived from the two theories that are to be combined in this study. The first framework is that of integration. Being integrated means being an accepted part of something whole. Affiliation, participation and codetermination are essential needs and components of human life worthy of dignity. For refugees to be able to live this kind of life certain conditions have to be in place. One of the conditions are the capabilities that immigrants have. Since this study focuses on the capabilities instead of the weaknesses of the immigrants, the second theoretical framework is that of empowerment. By asking how the existing capabilities have to be promoted for integration to be successful, the empowerment of the individual immigrant is targeted. The following chapter discusses the concept of integration, by focussing on the German context and the Empowerment Approach. 3.2 Integration The official definition of integration by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) reads as follows: “Integration is a two-way process, in which all sections of society are actively involved. The goal of integration is to enable people with an immigration background to have a comprehensive and equal participation in all areas of society. Successful integration work requires commitment and openness of the society as a whole. Therefore, the measures of the Federal agency are not only aimed to people with an immigration background. With its work, it promotes the acceptance of diversity in the host society to support coexistence in a pluralistic Federal Republic of Germany”24 (BAMF 2014b:1). 24 Translation by the author. Original: "Integration ist ein wechselseitiger Prozess, an dem alle Teile der Gesellschaft aktiv beteiligt sind. Das Ziel von Integration ist es, Menschen mit Zuwanderungsgeschichte in Deutschland eine umfassende und gleichberechtigte Teilhabe in allen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen zu ermöglichen. Erfolgreiche Integrationsarbeit erfordert Engagement und Offenheit von der Gesellschaft als Ganzes. Daher richten sich die Maßnahmen des Bundesamtes nicht 38 An internationally known definition of integration is that of John Berry, a Canadian professor of psychology. Berry considers integration as one variety of acculturation. He distinguishes acculturation fundamentally in four variations: assimilation, integration, separation and marginalization (Berry 1999:278–279). In his opinion the strategies for acculturation differ according to the relationship of the immigrants to the majority culture and the degree of preservation of their own cultural values. In a positive relationship with the majority culture, the individual or collective is integrated or assimilated. A negative relationship leads to either a separation or marginalization. The following table presents the distinguishing features of the four variants: (:278) Figure 3.1 Four varieties of acculturation according to Berry This illustration displays what Berry means by integration. Contrary to assimilation, in integration, people or groups aspire to multiculturalism where their own cultural heritage is carried into the majority society as well as reaching out to relationships within the host society (:279). nur an Menschen mit Zuwanderungsgeschichte. Mit seiner Arbeit fördert es auch die Akzeptanz für Vielfalt in der Aufnahmegesellschaft, um das Zusammenleben in einer pluralen Bundesrepublik zu unterstützen.” 39 3.2.1 Academic approaches to integration in Germany Although Germany is a country that has a long-term integration history (Heckmann 2013:34), its citizens refused for a long time to see it as an “Integration-country” (Heckmann 2015:23; Bade 2007b:34). Yet scientists had published related research about immigration and integration already in the 1980s. The four most prominent should be mentioned here: Hartmut Esser, Klaus Bade, Michael Bommes, and Friedrich Heckmann. Hartmut Esser is professor of sociology and builds his theory on a basic definition of integration. “Integration generally is understood as a cohesion of parts in a ‘systemic’ whole, no matter what this cohesion is based on. The parts must be indispensable, or in other words, the parts have to be ‘an integral part of the whole’”25 (Esser 2001:1). From this point he deduces the distinction of system-integration and social-integration, building on a theory of David Lockwood. System-integration is defined as ‘cohesion between the parts of a social system’. The roleplayers in system-integration, for example the world market, the nationstate, the large corporates, such as the international corporations, and supranational entities, such as the European Union, coalesce with each other independent from the interests and motivations of the individual person. Social-integration, on the other hand, is the relationship among the actors of the social system (:3). Additionally he subdivides socialintegration into four dimensions: culturation, placement, interaction and identification (:16). On this foundation he builds his four dimensions of assimilation26: cultural, structural, social and emotional or identificational assimilation. He is of the opinion that structural assimilation brings placement in society and, with it, cultural assimilation, which includes an approximation in knowledge and skills, especially in relation to language (:22). Esser concludes that these two are the most important aspects for integration to be successful (:17). Klaus Bade, professor of new history and Michael Bommes († 2010) professor of sociology, managed the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS). They proceed on the assumption that 25 Translation by the author. Original: “Unter Integration wird – ganz allgemein – der Zusammenhalt von Teilen in einem „systemischen“ Ganzen verstanden, gleichgültig zunächst worauf dieser Zusammenhalt beruht. Die Teile müssen ein nicht wegzudenkender, ein, wie man auch sagen könnte, „integraler“ Bestandteil des Ganzen sein.” 26 For a detailed definition of assimilation see 1.9 Clarification of key terms and 5.3.1 Advantages. 40 all presented integration concepts are ultimately constructed on this basic question: whether, where, how and to what extent the access to resources, such as work, education, income and health, are possible. In addition, the answer to the question ‘Why are these resources accessible or not accessible?’ is part of the integration theory according to Bade and Bommes. In their opinion access to these resources are determinative for successful integration. But to get access to the resources that are important for integration, migrants have to fulfil certain social expectations (Bade & Bommes 2004:13–14). These assumptions of Bade and Bommes might be observed under two viewpoints. Firstly, they raise the question: Which abilities do immigrants need to be able to fulfil these social expectations and do they possess these abilities? It adds up to the question: Are they able to fulfil these expectations? The other viewpoint focuses on the social structures. Are the social structures inclusive for immigrants and does immigration change them? According to Bade and Bommes the goal is to find out how the abilities of the immigrants and the social structures can, or have to, correlate with each other, for integration to happen. They assume that the abilities of migrants multiply during the process of integration. On the other hand, the integration of migrants also has a positive effect on the society (for example: more children, international staff, multilingual skills, cultural pluralisation) which fosters wider options for the whole society. At the same time, the integration of other people leads to the sharing of social goods, which might trigger a feeling of competition between the local society (:13–14). Moreover, Bade adds the aspect of security to the integration discussion. He is of the opinion that the success of integration is crucial to ensure lasting social peace in an immigration society (Bade 2007a:61–62). Friedrich Heckmann is another German scientist who publishes and teaches about migration and integration. This study chooses to build on Friedrich Heckmann`s theory since it is already used in practice as the basis for integration concepts, for example, as in the integration management and monitoring plans of the Federal State of Hessen (Hessisches Ministerium für Soziales und Integration 2015:10) and the city of Kassel (Stadt Kassel 2012:5). His view of integration and his theory will be explained in detail in chapter five. Generally it is assumed that “integration is a process that occurs over time. The longer immigrants reside in a host country, the more familiar they become with the ways it functions, the more friends and acquaintances they make and – where it is an issue – the better they master the 41 host country language” (OECD/European Union 2015:21). In the case of refugees, the granting of a residence status enables the beginning and the development of a binding process to the new society (Heckmann 2015:45). Furthermore, the question is raised: ‘What is it that the refugees are supposed to integrate themselves into?’. Neither the German society nor the refugees themselves are a homogenous group. On closer inspection one notes that the German society already consists of 17.1 million people with a migration background27 which is 21 percent of the population (Statistisches Bundesamt 2016:36). This fact brings scientists like Naika Foroutan, professor of social sciences, to argue that Germany already can be seen as a “Post-Migration”28 country. The prefix “post” does not stand for the ‘end of the migration’, but describes social negotiation processes that follow in the phase ‘after the migration’ (Foroutan 27.08.2016:11). This ‘after migration’ phase emphasises the fact that Germany is multi-cultural already and that integration efforts should not just be promoted for immigrants, but instead for every minority in German society (for example disabled people, LBGT people, etc.). She pleads for a paradigm shift that keeps the word integration, but fills it with this new meaning (Foroutan 2015:4–5). 3.2.2 Integration indicators and barriers Processes of integration happen and can be measured at the individual, organisational, and institutional level (Penninx & Garcés-Mascareñas 2016:17–18). In order to reach improved comparability among EU Member States, the 2010 Zaragoza declaration decided on a set of integration indicators which are measured in terms of employment, health, education, social inclusion and active citizenship in the hosting country (Eurostat 2015:1). Both larger and smaller German cities develop and test their own indicators. This leads to a variety and differences in details concerning the design and implementation of local monitoring (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2010:1). Three types of indicators can be distinguished. The first ones are the “indicators of accessibility”. They evaluate the legal conditions, which ensure the residence status and the consequential protection against discrimination and access to the structures of society. The second type of 27 For a definition on people with migration background see 1.9 Clarification of key terms. 28 For a definition of Post-Migration see 1.9 Clarification of key terms. 42 indicator evaluates the “classical” indications, like the employment situation, educational status, housing situation or dependence on social transfers. Finally, the third indicator focuses its attention on the attitudes and expectations of migrants to the host society and aspirations regarding their personal life and their participation in social and political life. This category also includes the opinion of the majority society in relation to the migrants (Filsinger 2008:49). The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) should be mentioned here. It is a tool, developed by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and the Migration Policy Group (MPG), which measures policies of Migrant Integration in all EU Member States, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA through 167 indicators. These include labour market mobility, family reunion, education, health, political participation, permanent residence, access to nationality, and antidiscrimination (Huddleston u.a. 2015:2). Since there are indicators that measure the success of integration, there are also barriers that prevent integration. It is not easy to create a list of the causes of failed integration because they are anything but homogeneous. But from the literature it is clear that the causes of failure can be found among the migrants and the host society and that they have different effects in different combinations (Woellert u.a. 2009:50) (Geiger 2016:122–126). 3.2.3 Critique of Integration Theories In this section, three different forms of critique will be briefly addressed. Not only are the German integration structures criticized but so are the assumptions about integration generally prevalent in society, are criticised. Furthermore, the critique of the term “integration” or whether it is the “right” term for the concept will be briefly discussed. Dieter Filsinger, professor of social science, social policy and evaluation, levels criticism at the way integration success is measured. In his opinion, the focus is too much on the actions carried out by the immigrants in order to achieve social integration and not enough on the openness of the social structures in the host country. If the goal is to create equal opportunities, then the social structures have to make this possible (Filsinger 2008:9). Schneider et al. and Penninx & Garcés-Mascareñas also criticize the same point. Schneider et al., emphasise that the demand for acculturation addressed to the immigrants is “hollow” since it 43 does not come with a willingness to grant equal opportunities (Schneider, Crul & Lelie 2015:102). Penninx & Garcés-Mascareñas criticise that integration is often presented as a must for the minority, who have to adapt to the majority (Penninx & Garcés-Mascareñas 2016:12ff). When this adaptation, perhaps because of hindrances from the majority, does not happen, it is called “absence of integration willingness”. This in turn is taken as reason to legitimise disciplinary integration actions (Böcker, Goel & Heft 2013:306–307) like reduction of social benefits when not participating in an integration course (BAMF 2017b:4). The criticism levelled at the general assumptions about integration present in German society is captured in the term “methodological nationalism”. “Methodological nationalism is understood as the assumption that the nation/state/society is the natural social and political form of the modern world” (Wimmer & Glick Schiller 2002:301). Thereby the national society is seen as a container and the immigrants as “[…] antinomies to an orderly working of state and society […]” (:309). By viewing migration and integration through this lens the immigrants are seen as “[…] potential security risks, as culturally others, as socially marginal and as an exception to the rule of territorial confinement […]” (:311). Wimmer and Glick Schiller critique the Migration and Integration Studies to be influenced by these views of nation states, which lets cross-border migration seem to be irregular and problematic, since it is contrary to the “rule” that everybody stays where he or she belongs, that is, to “their” nation state (:311). By analysing the “The Integration of the European Second Generation”29 (TIES) –Study Schneider et al., have come to the same results. They express their critic of the “either/or principle”. This means that in general the assumption prevails in German society that a person can either be German or, for example, Turk. This becomes visible in the rejection of dual citizenship. Integration or segregation is equated with a certain picture and overlap seems impossible (Schneider, Crul & Lelie 2015:23–24). In addition to this, there is also a discourse in Migration Studies about the terms integration and inclusion. Hubertus Schröer is of the opinion 29 “The TIES project is a collaborative and comparative research project on the descendants of immigrants from Turkey, Ex-Yugoslavia and Morocco in eight European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). The ‘second generation” refers to those children of immigrants who were actually born in the receiving country, and have followed their entire education there” (TIES n.y.). 44 that the term integration implies expectations from the host country towards the migrants, whereas the term inclusion, in contrast, puts expectations on the host country. This results from his meanings that integration relies on alignment and adjustment, while inclusion stands for the affiliation of all from the very beginning. Schröer’s argument is that inclusion puts its focus on the empowerment for participation (Schröer 2013:252). A counter-argument to this position can be found in the work of Böcker, Goel and Heft. The three authors examined the word integration on its racist content. In this way they concluded that the word integration itself is less problematic than the underlying racist exclusion that is reproduced in any non-critical speech about integration. By that they mean the underlying concept of integration, which implies that “the different one” has to integrate following the rules of the dominant society. For that reason they discard the idea that the concept of integration needs a new term, rather the integration concept itself has to be redesigned (Böcker, Goel & Heft 2013:309–310). Naika Foroutan is also of the opinion that it is not necessary to fill a completely new word with this important content. She pleads not to replace the word integration but, instead, to unlink it from the concept of migration. In her opinion the original sense and aim of the word integration is society-wide and is not limited solely to the concept of migration (Foroutan 2015:4). 3.3 Empowerment The second framework of this study is that of Empowerment. In 1976 the publication of “Black Empowerment: Social Work in Oppressed Communities” by Barbara Solomon, a professor of social work, brought the term of empowerment into use by service providers and researchers. At that time the term was mainly used regarding marginalized groups and concerned the power and dominations they were suppressed by (Calvès 2009:736–737). One of the influencers of the empowerment notion is the Brazilian theorist Paulo Freire with his Conscientization Approach. In his work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” he sees in the problem of oppression that the oppressed do not have the opportunity to participate in their own liberation (Freire 1973:36). It was through feminist discourse the empowerment framework finally became established as a term in the development area (Calvès 2009:739–741). In 2002 the World Bank published a sourcebook on “Empowerment and Poverty Reduction” (Narayan 2002). Therein the definition of empowerment is related to Sen’s Capability Approach and reads as follows: 45 “Empowerment is the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives” (:xviii). Alsop et al., together with the World Bank published the book “Empowerment in Practice” (Alsop, Bertelsen & Holland 2012) wherein they define empowerment as “[…] a group’s or individual’s capacity to make effective choices, that is, to make choices and then to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes” (:10). In this definition they distinguish between two sets of interrelated factors: agency and opportunity structure. Agency cannot be mistaken as empowerment, since it is the ability to envision and make purposeful choices. This ability only leads to empowerment if it can act inside an opportunity structure, which helps to transform agency into action. The opportunity structure consists of an “[…] institutional context within which actors operate that influence their ability to transform agency into action” (:10). According to this concept of empowerment, it is not just a substance of multiplying and empowering the assets, capabilities and capacities of people but it also considers the situation people in such need are exposed to. These social relations (institutional or otherwise) may be helpful or harmful to the transformation of agency into action (Calvès 2009:744). Narayan gives an overview of the formal and informal institutional barriers that might be an obstacle in the empowerment process: “The key formal institutions include the laws, rules, and regulations upheld by states, markets, civil society, and international agencies; informal institutions include norms of social solidarity, sharing, social exclusion, and corruption, among others” (Narayan 2002:xix). 3.3.1 Dimensions, elements and degrees of empowerment The negative description of empowerment is described by John Friedmann as disempowerment. He distinguishes three dimensions. Social, political and psychological disempowerment. In relation to poor people he defines social disempowerment as “[…] lack of access to the resources essential for the self-production […]; political disempowerment as “[…] lack of a clear political agenda and voice […]”; and, psychological disempowerment as “[…] internalized sense of worthlessness and passive submission to authority” (Friedmann 1996:164). The elements that are a major aspect of an empowering approach are summarized by Narayan (Narayan 2002:18–22): Access to information: In order to take effective action access to information is critical. Narayan emphasises that for empowerment to be 46 possible information has to flow in both directions. Citizens need information from the government, and the government also needs information from citizens. It is important to ensure that the information is conveyed in the manner in which it can be culturally and intellectually understood (:19). Inclusion and participation: Inclusion and participation are those elements of an empowering approach that ask the questions: Who is included and to what extent can she/he participate? Do the participating people have the power to actually influence decisions (:19–20)? These elements are basic for empowerment. People are only empowered if they are included and able to participate in a process. Accountability: Public officials, private employers, or service providers are held accountable to answer questions regarding their policies, actions and use of funds (:20). “When poor people can hold providers accountable, control and power shifts to them” (:21). Local organizational capacity: To be able to organise and mobilize community resources and work together towards problem solutions on a local level is an important capacity for empowerment. Such a local organisation of capacities might give people a stronger voice and a higher chance to have their demands met (:21–22). Further to this, Alsop and Heinsohn distinguish three degrees of existing power and empowerment: Existence of choice: the first degree shows only if a choice exists. Use of choice: in the second degree the question is asked whether a person actually puts these opportunities into practice. Achievement of choice: the third degree deals with the desired result of the empowerment (Alsop & Heinsohn 2005:10). All three degrees build on each other and are suitable questions to be answered for evaluating empowerment. In my opinion, the three degrees of empowerment should ask more profound questions. For example, the question could be asked: “Where does the existence of choice come from?” and “Why is one person able to put an opportunity into practice and another not?” and “Why did this person desire this result and not another (better/higher/more qualified)?” 47 3.3.2 Empowerment to action A definition by Luttrell and Quiroz underlines the empowerment to take action. They summarise empowerment as “[…] a progression that helps people gain control over their own lives and increases the capacity of people to act on issues that they themselves define as important” (Luttrell & Quiroz 2009:16). Empowerment enables people to act. Related to integration this means that empowered immigrants are capable of taking part in the integration process. Or, as the words of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), conceptualise empowerment “[…] as an emancipation process in which the disadvantaged are empowered to exercise their rights, obtain access to resources and participate actively in the process of shaping society and making decisions” (:16). What is needed for immigrants to be empowered is to exercise their rights, obtain access to resources and participate actively in the process of shaping society and making decisions? Alsop is of the opinion that, fundamentally, a “prerequisite to empowerment is an opportunity structure that allows people to translate their asset base into effective agency […]” (Alsop 2007:123). This is what this study aims to accomplish; that is, to combine Heckmann’s integration theory and Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach in order to create a theoretical frame that, through focus on capabilities, creates an opportunity structure that allows immigrants to translate their capabilities into active integration. 3.3.3 Critique of the Empowerment Approach The empowerment approach has also been criticized. Three critics are listed below. All of them, refer to the content of the term “empowerment”. At the end of this section, I explain which definition of empowerment is the basis of this work. The first point of criticism concerns the definition of empowerment. In a briefing-paper prepared for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Zoë Oxaal and Sally Baden outline that the concept of empowerment, although often used in practice, is rarely defined. Where it has been defined, the definitions vary significantly from one agency to another (Oxaal & Baden 1997:2). Consequently Anne- Emmanuèle Calves came to the conclusion that “Without any clear definition, empowerment has become a vague goal, a fashionable term that is impossible to implement in the field” (Calvès 2009:IX). 48 Secondly, the empowerment approach is criticized for losing its initial importance as “[…] a complex and multifaceted process that focuses on the individual and collective dimensions of power […]” (:X) turning into an individualised conception of power. This means that empowerment is treated synonymously with individual capacity, realization, and status (:X). Moreover, the term’s co-optation is also criticised as being de-politicising. As a consequence, in practice the empowerment approach is reduced to an economic dimension only (:XI). And thirdly, the change in meaning of “power” itself is critiqued. The initial definition of empowerment in the 1980s was started as a “bottom up” transformation, in which the disempowered people gained awareness of the dynamics of dominance that were the reason for their marginalisation. Additionally they built up abilities to fundamentally transform inequitable economic, social, and political structures (:XIII). Jane Parpart, Professor at the University of West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, is of the opinion that the use of power in the empowerment approach took a turn for the worse. In her opinion this change happened in the mid 1990’s when mainstream development agencies adapted the term. According to Parpart the word “empowerment” was kept, but the meaning began to vary, since the mainstream development practitioners “[…] envisioned empowerment as a means for enhancing efficiency and productivity within the status quo rather than as a mechanism for social transformation” (Parpart 2008:355–356). In order to be able to respond to this criticism, I am going to define the definition of empowerment this study is built on and describe how the empowerment of refugees can contribute to social transformation. The definition of empowerment is that of Alsop, Bertelsen and Holland: “Empowerment is defined as a group’s or individual’s capacity to make effective choices, that is, to make choices and then to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes” (Alsop, Bertelsen & Holland 2012:10). Furthermore, the factors of empowerment according to Alsop et al., agency and opportunity structure (:10), will also be part of this research study as it can counteract the second criticism, because empowerment is recognised as a “[…] complex and multifaceted process that focuses on the individual and collective dimensions of power […]” (Calvès 2009:X). For empowerment to be a mechanism for social transformation for the life situation of refugees in Germany, the objective of the combined integration theory, to be developed, is to empower the individual refu- 49 gee by looking at his/her capabilities and how they have to be supplemented to lead to integration. If the mechanism of the theory is successful and refugees are able to define and articulate what they need and have to give for integration, then social transformation is possible. The Capabilities Approach can be the opportunity structure that allows people to translate their asset-base into effective agency for empowerment. This is discussed in detail under 7.3. 3.4 Conclusion When bringing both frameworks of this study together the question arises: What would empowerment for integration look like? The answer is: Empowered immigrants would have the ability and opportunity to participate in the social, cultural, and structural parts of German society. This includes the knowledge of and ability to claim their legal rights. Besides that, they are empowered to choose their own lifestyle and identity and if desired they are offered the space to review and possibly change or adapt their cultural and social values and norms. In short: Immigrants are offered the abilities and opportunities they need to be able to integrate in the way they consider helpful to obtain a life worthy of their dignity. The next chapter explains and describes the methodology of this study.

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This book is a reaction to the “refugee-crisis” in 2015 and the ensuing demand of science and practice for a stronger focus on the potentials and abilities of refugees in the integration process. To direct the focus of integration theories away from the weaknesses and towards the capabilities of the refugees, Heckmann’s Integration Theory – based on a comparative analysis – is related to Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach via interlinking both theories. The results show that an integration theory with the focus on the capabilities of the refugees empowers the individual immigrant to become a valued and active participant in the integration process. This study was researched using the situation in Germany as an example, but the results are transferable to social integration contexts in other countries as well and may give non-governmental organisations, social workers and government agencies an orientation for their future aid programming.