6 The Capabilities Approach according to Martha Nussbaum in:

Lilija Wiebe

Rethinking Social Integration, page 83 - 110

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
83 6 The Capabilities Approach according to Martha Nussbaum 6.1 Introduction The Capabilities Approach, arising from development studies, was developed by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen and has its origins in India (Nussbaum 2011:106). The goal of the approach is to give the answer to the question: “What does a life worthy of human dignity require? (:32). By applying the approach in the German integration context, questions in two different areas arise. The first question relates to context: Does a developmental approach originating from India fit into the German context? And the second area is about the possible connection with an integration theory. In particular: Does a link exist between the goals of the Capabilities Approach and the integration of immigrants? What advantages does it bring to the integration debate in Germany? These and other questions will be answered in this chapter in order to answer the research question. To ensure the validity of a theory comparison, as shown in Chapter 4, it is needed to describe the comparative elements and context. The structure of this chapter follows the methodology, which is why this chapter will initially consider the Capabilities Approach in general and the criticism of it. Later the approach will be reflected in detail, especially in relation to the integration of refugees. For this purpose, the existing literature is reviewed on this point. Throughout this chapter the links between the literature and the basic and internal capabilities60 of the refugees and integration are shown. In addition, the connection between the ten central capabilities and integration is made known. This is followed by an outline of the advantages and limitations which the approach would bring if used as the basis of an integration theory for the German context. The first results are then analysed and recorded. 6.2 The Capabilities Approach and its relation to the integration of refugees 6.2.1 The basics of the Capabilities Approach The Capabilities Approach developed by Martha Nussbaum, professor of Law and Ethics, is based on the virtue teaching of Aristotle and the 60 For a detailed description about basic and internal capabilities see 6.2.1 The basics of the Capabilities Approach. 84 political liberalism of John Rawls (Galamaga 2014:6). Nussbaum developed her version of the Capabilities Approach in collaboration with Amartya Sen at the World Institute for Development Economic Research starting from 1986 (Nussbaum 2000:11). She sees two possible applications in the Capabilities Approach. Firstly, it can be used to assess the quality of life − which is Sen´s way; and, secondly, it can be used to theorise about social justice – which is mainly her approach (:19). Notably, it can, through the list of the ten central capabilities, also be used as a theory of basic political claims (Nussbaum 2000:12; Nussbaum 2011:19). Capabilities “[…] are not just abilities residing inside a person but also the freedoms and opportunities created by a combination of personal abilities and the political, social, and economic environment” (Nussbaum 2011:20). Basic, internal and combined capabilities Nussbaum distinguishes between basic, internal and combined capabilities (:21–24).Thereby she classifies the capabilities of each person according to the ways they were internalised. Basic capabilities are the basics for personal development and training in the future of a person’s life. A person acquires these prenatal and in early childhood. This includes nutrition during pregnancy and prenatal experiences that influence the development of a person’s abilities (:23–24). Basic capabilities are the basis for internal capabilities. Internal capabilities are trained and developed through interaction with the social, political and family environment. These consist of mental and physical skills (e.g. education and critical thinking) and are also described as “personal states” that are not static but dynamic (:21). Internal capabilities must not be mistaken as combined capabilities. Only a combination of the internal capability turns it into the capability as it is defined by Sen and Nussbaum. Therefore “[…] combined capabilities are defined as internal capabilities plus the social/political/economic conditions in which functioning can actually be chosen […]” (:22). According to Nussbaum, it is important that combined Capabilities always contain an option (:22). Namely, the individual person may decide for him or herself whether to accept or reject a combination of capabilities (:18). The final purpose of the Capabilities Approach is, through combining the individual capabilities of a person, to enable him/her to live a life worthy of human dignity (:32). The following figure outlines and summarises the basics of the Capabilities Approach on which this research is based. 85 Figure 6.1 The Capabilities-Approach according to Martha Nussbaum Nussbaum proposes ten central capabilities, which every government should secure for all of its citizens61 (Nussbaum 2011:32–34). Which are: 1. Life. Being able to live to the end of a human life of normal length; not dying prematurely, or before one’s life is so reduced as to be not worth living. 2. Bodily Health. Being able to have good health, including reproductive health; to be adequately nourished; to have adequate shelter. 3. Bodily Integrity. Being able to move freely from place to place; to be secure against violent assault, including sexual assault and domestic violence; having opportunities for sexual satisfaction and for choice in matters of reproduction. 4. Senses, Imagination, and Thought. Being able to use the senses, to imagine, think, and reason—and to do these things in a "truly human" way, a way informed and cultivated by an adequate education, including, but by no means limited to, literacy and basic mathematical and scientific training. Being able to use imagination and thought in connection with experiencing and producing works and events of one’s own choice, religious, literary, musical, and so forth. Being able to use one’s mind in ways protected by guarantees of freedom of expression with respect to both political and artistic speech, and freedom of religious exercise. Being able to have pleasurable experiences and to avoid non-beneficial pain. 5. Emotions. Being able to have attachments to things and people outside ourselves; to love those who love and care for us, to grieve at their absence; in general, to love, to grieve, to experience longing, gratitude, and justified anger. Not having one’s emotional development blighted by fear and anxiety. (Supporting this capability means 61 Whether Nussbaum applies the term “citizens’ only to nationals of a country or the whole civil society, is discussed under limitations “Citizens- who qualifies?” (6.3.2). 86 supporting forms of human association that can be shown to be crucial in their development.) 6. Practical Reason. Being able to form a conception of the good and to engage in critical reflection about the planning of one’s life. (This entails protection for the liberty of conscience and religious observance.) 7. Affiliation. b. Being able to live with others, to recognize and show concern for other humans, to engage in various forms of social interaction; to be able to imagine the situation of another. (Protecting this capability means protecting institutions that constitute and nourish such forms of affiliation, and also protecting the freedom of assembly and political speech.) c. Having the social bases of self-respect and non-humiliation; being able to be treated as a dignified being whose worth is equal to that of others. This entails provisions of non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, caste, religion, national origin and species. 8. Other Species. Being able to live with concern for and in relation to animals, plants, and the world of nature. 9. Play. Being able to laugh, to play, to enjoy recreational activities. 10. Control over one’s Environment. a. Political: Being able to participate effectively in political choices that govern one’s life; having the right of political participation, protections of free speech and association. b. Material: Being able to hold property (both land and movable goods), and having property rights on an equal basis with others; having the right to seek employment on an equal basis with others; having the freedom from unwarranted search and seizure. In work, being able to work as a human, exercising practical reason and entering into meaningful relationships of mutual recognition with other workers (Nussbaum 2013:33–34). “Delivering these ten capabilities to all citizens is a necessary condition of social justice” (:40). 87 Application of the Capabilities Approach in different societies The specification of the minimal requirements for each capability is the task of the individual countries and can be defined in the form of a “threshold”. Nussbaum suggests that the “threshold” of each country should be determined independently, taking into account the countryspecific traditions and its history (Nussbaum 2013:40–41). But Nussbaum emphasises that the list is just a proposal and may be contested and adjusted (:36). Besides this, she is of the opinion that generally having a list of ten central capabilities avoids omission and misuse of power (Alkire & Deneulin 2009:43). The Capabilities Approach is seen as an approach which holds the potential of a plausible model of social justice which is, in principle, applicable to every society (Galamaga 2014:1). In order to be able to evaluate the social justice of a society, it is necessary to ask the key question of the approach: “What is this person able to do and to be?” (Nussbaum 2011:20). Therefore, it concerns the wellbeing and possibilities of each individual and not the overall or average welfare of a society (:18). Also, the individual is considered detached from the corresponding groups (e.g. family). It is important that each person gets the same respect and consideration (:35). Nussbaum builds on the foundation that dignity is inherent in every living being and there are living conditions that allow man to live in dignity and, in turn, other conditions which are inappropriate for a life worthy of this dignity (:30). She believes that promoting the capabilities of each individual leads to a life which is appropriate to the dignity of humans. However, the absence of freedoms or capabilities does not deprive a person of his/her dignity. This means that a person who cannot live or experience a capability due to a disability is not without dignity (:31). An unequal distribution of capabilities is, in her opinion, a violation of the dignity of the disadvantaged ones (:41). This is because the focus of the approach lies on the assessment of justice and dignity and not on the satisfaction of individual needs. (:30). It is not primarily about the satisfaction of the individual’s needs, but rather about the question: which needs have to be satisfied so that the individual can live a life according to his/her dignity. The application of the Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach in different cultures is also critiqued. The Approach gets criticised as culturally insensitive. On the one hand, because its origin stems from the west and on the other because of the essentialist human image which 88 the approach is based on (Nathschläger 2014:188–189). Nussbaum refutes the argument that the origin of the approach lies in the west and argues that the Capabilities Approach originated in India and was formulated by an international research group (Nussbaum 2011:101,106). She brings several arguments to meet the point of criticism that her approach is culturally insensitive. On the one hand, she argues that cultures are never monolithic and that “the tradition” is often the view of the influential members of a culture (:106–107). In her book “Woman and Human Development” she asks “[…] whose interests are served by this nostalgic image of a happy harmonious culture, and whose resistance and misery are being effaced” (Nussbaum 2000:38). Based on the fact that each culture has very different values and people have very different life ideas, Nussbaum is of the opinion that the Capabilities Approach can serve as an orientation in this situation. She argues that the context of human dignity, which is underlying her approach, opens up a framework in which these different cultural ideas have space. This space is possible, since the Capabilities Approach does not focus on the functionings of people, but rather on the capabilities of the individual (Nussbaum 2011:107). When these capabilities are placed at the centre of attention as a political objective, pluralism is protected (:110). Another point of criticism regarding the application of the Capabilities Approach different societies is taken up by Martha Nussbaum herself in her book “Creating Capabilities”. It is the subject that “each person is an end” in the approach. The critique is created by the fact that not all people understand themselves individually but instead identify themselves with larger groups (for example: ethnic group, nation, etc.). Nussbaum counters with the argument that often, even if people do that, they do not necessarily gain any benefit from the achievements of this group and therefore, in her opinion, it only makes sense to see and promote each individual person (:35). Focus on capabilities or functionings One focus of the Capabilities Approach, according to Nussbaum, is on the opportunities an individual person has and not so much on how and if he/she implements them. This is about the individual’s own decisionmaking power (:18). Freedom of choice is of high importance for Nussbaum but, in her opinion, it has two limits. For one, a person should not have the choice whether to be treated with or without respect and the other, slavery in every form is to be banned (:26). Nussbaum suggests that political action should increase the freedom of choice and therefore 89 these actions should focus on the capabilities rather than the functionings of the people (Nussbaum 1999:57). The Capabilities Approach is often confronted with the question: ‘should the capabilities or the functionings be promoted through the approach?” Johannes Natschläger, professor of social work, argues that some of the capabilities (empowerments) get lost if they are not implemented in functionings (for example, language acquisition). In addition, he also believes that some of the central capabilities of Nussbaum’s list (e.g. “Affiliation (B)”) cannot be detached from the functioning because, in his opinion, some capabilities (opportunities) and functionings (activities) are identical. In summary, he notes that capabilities are always dependent on functionings (Nathschläger 2014:166–167). This also applies to the case of integration. The state should enable its inhabitants to have the ability to integrate. This deliberately applies to all the residents. The host society must also be able to participate actively in integration (for example: it should be made easier for businesses to employ refugees and to promote opportunities for different cultures to meet in community centres, youth work etc.). If, however, there are only opportunities (capabilities) but no activities (functionings), integration will not take place. In the literature, different approaches to the question whether capabilities or functionings are to be promoted are discussed (Robeyns 2006a:353). Jennifer Clarke, in the study presented under 6.2, draws the conclusion that capabilities have a complex, possibly iterative relationship, with related functionings. The realisation of a capability into a functioning can lead to an empowerment that can result in the realisation of further capabilities. For this reason, she is of the opinion that the question, whether it is more important to promote the capabilities or the functionings of the individual, is not necessary. Instead the focus should be placed on the link between the two (Clarke 2013:16–17). Normative claims, exercises and influence of the Capabilites Approach Further, the Capabilities Approach is a theoretical agenda that involves two essential normative claims. The first is “[…] the claim that the freedom to achieve well-being is of primary moral importance, […]” (Robeyns 2016:1). Secondly, that well-being will be realised, if people are able to do and be what they have reason to value (:1). Ingrid Robeyns, professor of Ethics of Institutions and president of the Human Development and Capability Association, is of the opinion, that the Capabil- 90 ities Approach is a conceptual framework for a series of normative exercises. The most common ones are: “(1) the assessment of individual well-being; (2) the evaluation and assessment of social arrangements; and (3) the design of policies and proposals about social change in society” (:2). The influence of the Capabilities Approach is described by Dodd et al. in the following way: “The capabilities approach has contributed to policy debate surrounding human development and directly informed the human development framework and a series of Human Development Reports authored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Indeed, the human development framework is seen as an attractive and useful theoretical approach to meaningfully bring migration, development and human rights together” (Dodd, Preibich & Su 2014:2–3). In addition, the Capabilities Approach as a justification for human rights has, especially in sociological and political scientific discourse, proved to be effective (Galamaga 2014:7). Criticism The following section looks at some of the criticisms of the Capabilities Approach. Jonathan Wolff and Aver De-Shalit applied the Capabilities Approach to the situation of immigrants in Great Britain and Israel. They came to the conclusion that the Capabilities Approach has missed an issue of great importance: the freedom to sustain functionings (“secure functionings”62) (Wolff & De-Shalit 2007:65). A secure functioning is a functioning that people do not just have, but they have it in a way they can sustain it also in the future (:72). The opposite, an “insecure functioning” means that a person is not able to use and enjoy the necessary capabilities; and, the consequence being that this person is or will become disadvantaged. This “insecure functioning” often results in an inability to act out other capabilities (:68–69). Jonathan Wolff and Aver 62 Wolff and De-Shalit prefer the term functionings instead of the term capabilities. Amartya Sen has differentiated functionings and capabilities in the following way: Functionings describe what a person does and is and capabilities describe what a person is able to do or chooses to do. He puts it this way: “A person’s capability to achieve functionings that he or she has reason to value provides a general approach to the evaluation of social arrangements, and this yields a particular way of viewing the assessment of equality and inequality (Sen 1995:4–5). 91 De-Shalit (2007:84) would like the concept of “secure functionings” to be included in the Capabilities Approach. Furthermore, they introduce two other concepts to the Capabilities Approach: “fertile functioning” and “corrosive disadvantages”. “Fertile functionings” are those functionings that promote improvement in other functionings (:133–134). On the other hand, “corrosive disadvantages” are functionings that people do not yet have which, in turn, has a negative effect on the use and enjoyment of other functionings (:121). Another point of criticism comes from Jonathan Wolff and Aver De- Shalit. They also criticise the Capabilities Approach for focusing too much on what a person receives, and what he/she is entitled to get, in the process of distribution. In contrast, Wolff and De-Shalitt would prefer to put the focus of the Capabilities Approach on the extent the individual person is able to contribute and participate in society (:45). Ingrid Robeyns adds another point of criticism. She has worked extensively with Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach and believes that it is not specific enough. In her opinion, it becomes apparent in the fact that a question addressed to the Capabilities Approach can be answered in different ways (Robeyns 2006a:371). Since there are actually different reasons for the application of the Capabilities Approach, Robeyns is of the opinion that this problem can be solved through defining, right at the beginning of a question, which reason the approach is going to serve. She suggests three different application areas: the focus on functionings, capabilities or both; the selection of the relevant capabilities; and the necessity of compromises and creation of indexing (:373). Johannes Nathschläger picks up a central critique of Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach. Nussbaum is criticised because her approach is not culturally sensitive. On the one hand, because its origin stems from the west and on the other because of the essentialist human image which the approach is based on (Nathschläger 2014:188–189). How Martha Nussbaum invalidates the criticism can be read under Application of the Capabilities Approach in different societies. The following three sections are intended to help position the two theories in relation to each other. For this, the first section describes how Nussbaum’s Approach relates to refugees and the topic of integration. In the second section the overlaps between the core capabilities and the four dimensions of integration are worked out in order to find similarities between the two theories. As a last point, a presentation of two papers that combine the topics of the two theories, closes the section. 92 6.2.2 Links between the capabilities of refugees and integration of immigrants According to the concept of Martha Nussbaum, each person has more or less distinct basic and internal capabilities. Immigrants not only have the capabilities to master cultural techniques or cultural assets in the narrower sense, they also have competences such as helpfulness, willingness to learn and openness (Mülich, Bungardt & Meineke 2003:65). A recent study of the Institute for Labour Market and Employment Research (IAB) and the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) has revealed that refugees possess a wide range of competencies. These range from education to the willingness to integrate (Brücker 2016:5– 7). Furthermore, the study shows a high overlap of the basic values of “democracy” and “understanding of roles between men and women” with the values of the German population, which are seen as good condition for integration (:10–13). These values are helpful for integration into the German society, but not only because they correspond to German values; but, also, I believe that these values are proof of a capability. I am of the opinion that in many cases they are the result of a rethinking process. This process of political and cultural reflection and transformation mirrors the ability to reflect and change one’s own values. This corresponds to the content of the capability “Practical reason”. A link between the Capabilities Approach and migration or integration exists through the Human Development framework. As already mentioned, this was shaped and influenced by the Capability Approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum (Dodd, Preibich & Su 2014:2– 3). The 2009 issued Human Development Report focuses on migration from the perspective of the Capabilities Approach. It draws the conclusion that human mobility should be promoted as a freedom, since it is essential for human development and is a natural expression of man to be able to choose his place of residence (UNDP 2009:18). On this basis, the sociologist Stephen Castles proposes to use the human development framework as a new frame of reference for migration and diversity theories (Castles 2013:136). The Human Development Report does not exclusively describe the freedom of mobility itself, but also refers to the fact that this freedom is only of value if migrants have the necessary economic resources, security and network to enjoy a good life in the new home. In addition, the responsibility of the host society, to make this freedom of mobility possible, is also seen. Informal barriers, such as discrimination, on the part of the host society can hinder the migration process. (UNDP 2009:15–16). Dodd et al agree with the view of 93 Castles and plead for the implementation of the Capability Approach, which considers mobility as freedom and at the same time influences integration policies (Dodd, Preibich & Su 2014:33). Martha Nussbaum takes illegal immigrants as an example of the lack of opportunities to combine capabilities. The capability from her list, which is most clearly reflected in the concept of integration, is “Affiliation”. Literally, it says: “(A) Being able to live with and toward others, to recognize and show concern for other humans, to engage in various forms of social interaction; to be able to imagine the situation of another. (Protecting this capability means protecting institutions that constitute and nourish such forms of affiliation, and also protecting the freedom of assembly and political speech.) (B) Having the social bases of self-respect and non-humiliation; being able to be treated as a dignified being whose worth is equal to that of others. This entails provisions of non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, caste, religion, national origin and species” (Nussbaum 2011:34). The following table shows the overlaps with the integration definition of the BAMF. Theme Definition of integration according to BAMF (BAMF 2014b:1) Capability “Affiliation” according to Nussbaum (Nussbaum 2011:34) Active community Integration is a two-way process, in which all sections of society are actively involved. Being able to live with and toward others, to recognize and show concern for other humans, […] to be able to imagine the situation of another. Equal participation The goal of integration is to enable people with a migration background in Germany a comprehensive and equal participation in all areas of society. […] to engage in various forms of social interaction […] Social openness Successful integration work requires commitment and openness of the society as a whole. Therefore, the measures of the Federal agency are not only aimed at people with an immigration background. With its work, it promotes the acceptance of diversity in the host Having the social bases of selfrespect and non-humiliation; being able to be treated as a dignified being whose worth is equal to that of others. This entails provisions of non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, caste, religion, national origin and species. 94 society to support the coexistence in a plural Federal Republic of Germany. Table 6. 1 Comparison of integration definition of the BAMF and the capability “Affiliation” The content overlaps are obvious. The conditions for integration, which are mentioned in the official definition of integration of the BAMF, are also demanded in the capability “Affiliation” for a life in dignity. In addition to the capability “Affiliation”, part (A) of the capability “Control over its own environment” also claims content that can be found in the definition of integration used above under the theme “Equal participation”. Johannes Nathschläger is of the opinion that the Capability “Control over ones environment” (A) Political; being able to participate effectively in political choices that govern one’s life; having the right of political participation, protections of free speech and association” (Nussbaum 2013:34), is not actually an individual capability, instead it is “[...] a certain number of fundamental rights, which act as preconditions to enable existing internal capabilities to become functionings”63 (Nathschläger 2014:142). In general, the capability can be summed up in a fundamental legal requirement of active and passive voting rights as well as the right to freedom of assembly and expression (:141). These are essential elements of the comprehensive and equal participation of the refugees in all areas of society. In the following section it is shown how various authors have related the core capabilities to the situation of immigrants based on the four dimensions of integration. Capability “Affiliation” and social integration Nathschläger refers to the first part (A) of the capability “Affiliation” as an internal capability that needs to be promoted and expanded. On the other hand, in the second part (B) of the capability, he sees an external aspect in which Nussbaum expresses an ethical claim. The capability will either be enabled or prevented by the social context. It is clear that this capability is about the individual’s relationship with the others (A), which is a requirement for a good human life, but can only lead to 63 Translation by the author. Original: “[…] sondern um verschiedene Voraussetzungen zur Ausbildung von combined capabilities.” 95 a complete “flourishing” in the community if the aspects described under B are also met (:125–129). This is exactly what is necessary for integration, namely that both the new citizens and the host society are open to each other (Heckmann u.a. 2000:10–14). Nathschläger goes so far as to say that the success of your own life becomes fragile if you are not able to give recognition to any other member of society. He believes that this is the case even if you are not affected by disrespect (Nathschläger 2014:129). Refusing to disrespect a particular group of people as equals has negative consequences on the life of the individual, since the development of the central capabilities for a thriving social coexistence is interrupted (:129). In the study by Wolff and De Shalit the authors have found that, for migrants in Israel and Great Britain, the capability “Affiliation” belongs to “fertile functionings” (Wolff & De- Shalit 2007:139). Therefore it is a functioning/capability that promotes the improvement in other functionings/capabilities (Nussbaum 2013:44). One of their results shows that the sense of belonging of a person to a group increases his/her resilience of dealing with threats and risks in other capabilities. Besides that, migrants with a strong sense of belonging become more self-confident in their interests (Wolff & De- Shalit 2007:139). Capabilities “Practical reason”, “Senses, imagination, and thoughts” and cultural integration Another capability that plays a role in the integration of the immigrants is that of “Practical reason”. “Practical reason” means: “Being able to form a conception of the good and to engage in critical reflection about the planning of one’s life. […]” (Nussbaum 2011:34). Nussbaum is of the opinion that everybody should assess all their activities and plans on the basis of a critical reflection as described in the capability “Practical reason” (Nussbaum 1999:60). She describes the possibility to practice and experience this capability, together with the capability “Affiliation”, as basis and support for all other capabilities (Nussbaum 1990:226). According to Nathschläger these two capabilities build the core identity of the human being. He argues that, if a person lacks all other capabilities, he/she can still reach all of them if he/she is able to plan his/her own life (“Practical reason”) and is in contact with other people (“Affiliation”) (Nathschläger 2014:111). Furthermore, the capability “Practical reason” also includes the ability to reflect, in the sense that somebody is capable of self-distancing opinion and judgement. Also, a person is in the position to implement his ideas of a good life 96 and reflect on them critically (:111–112). These critical reflections on the idea of one’s own good life empowers man. In the case of immigrants, it will enable them to adapt to the changed life situation, to deal creatively with unforeseen life circumstances and possibly develop a new life concept (:115). This corresponds with a precondition for cultural integration: "In this context, integration means processes of cognitive, cultural, behavioural and attitudes related changes of migrants […]”64 (Heckmann 2015:72). For cultural integration this includes a communicative skills learning process which, in the case of most refugees, is the language acquisition (:72). This overlaps with the capability “senses, imagination, thought” where adequate education is a requirement for man to use his senses, develop his imaginations, and to be able to think and argue; and, all of this in a “truly human” way65 (Nussbaum 2011:33). In the given situation of integration, however, the lack of language skills can be an obstacle to a good life and must therefore first be acquired as internal capabilities. Education, or in the case of adult refugees language acquisition, is an important part for integration. Nussbaum sees a point that goes beyond that is also important for integration. In her opinion, education is for people to use and train their senses, imagination and thoughts. It is not enough to know facts and logic, instead, according to Nussbaum, education is for people to become able to act responsibly as a mature citizen in the complex world. She calls it: the value on “narrative imagination”. “This means the ability to think what it may be like to be in the shoes of a person different from oneself, […]” (Nussbaum 2010:95–96). Another argument that speaks for a link between the capability “senses, imagination, thought”, especially the education part of it, and cultural integration (language acquisition) is mentioned by Robeyns. She thinks that education is fundamental and promotive in the Capabil- 64 Translation by the author. Original: “Integration bedeutet in diesem Zusammenhang Prozesse kognitiver, kultureller, verhaltens- und einstellungsbezogener Ver- änderungen der Migranten: kulturelle Integration.“ 65 The description “in a truly human way” has arisen from the fact that Nussbaum, before she developed the list of the ten central capabilities, she first created a delimitation of man (animals and plants) and higher life forms (angels) (Nussbaum 1990:219; Nathschläger 2014:95). By bringing this capability together with cultural integration, it is not meant that only the acting out of this capability in the German language is regarded as a “truly human way”. Exercising these capabilities in any language is valuable and can be part of the good life for a person. 97 ities Approach. In addition to it, education also opens up access to further capabilities (Robeyns 2009:62) that is described by Wolff and De Shalit as fertile functioning66. Nathschläger expresses similarly: "In this approach education serves the purposes of the empowerment67 of the individual”68 (Nathschläger 2014:117). The capability “senses, imagination, thought” does not only demand the possibility of acquiring adequate education, but also the exercise (combination) of this capability. In summary: Knowledge resulting from education leads to a higher access of capabilities by giving a person the opportunity and ability to live a life he/she values that can open up to him/her further opportunities to live the life he/she values. The example of language acquisition serves to clarify: When refugees have the opportunity to learn the German language successfully, it opens up the opportunity to work, to learn a profession, to get in touch with fellow citizens, etc. When considering the description of empowerment under 3.3, it becomes clear that this process empowers individual people by helping them “[…] 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). Capability “Control over one’s environment” and structural integration The material control over our own environment is aimed at “being part” of the core situations in a society. The core situations of a society are such as the labour and housing market, education and training system, social security systems and the political community (Heckmann 2015:72); and, membership means being part of something. Ownership of property, the right to decent work and education, being a tax payer, having the right to vote, being a member of the social security system, claiming rights and so on, are placing the individual in the “legal society” and the political community. This is also the objective of structural integration. The immigrant is to take part in the existing structures by “being part” of the core situations (:72). In order to get into these core situations, “soft skills” are needed that enable people to understand a system. For example: How to send children to a good school, how to get a job, the ability to deal with a bank account, communication skills; 66 For a detailed description about fertile functionings see Focus on capabilities or functionings?. 67 For a detailed definition about empowerment see 3.3 Empowerment. 68 Translation by the author. Original: “Bildung dient im Sinne dieses Ansatzes der Handlungsbefähigung des Einzelnen.” 98 for example, knowing when a joke is inappropriate.), to discern which documents and letters are important or unimportant, and so on. The following example is intended to illustrate what is meant by “soft skills” that are not transferable to the German context: in some countries, it is not a social competence to offer a member of the opposite sex a handshake. In fact, this aspect of German culture is regarded in such countries as social incompetence or disrespect. Wolff and De-Shalit have found in their study that refugees, who lack these soft skills, find it difficult to gain control of their environment. To solve this problem they suggest that new citizens receive a “local guide” who enables the immigrants to get to know these soft skills (Wolff & De-Shalit 2007:145). Capability “Emotions” and identificational integration Developing a new concept of life has to do with identificational integration. The willingness to identify with national, ethnic, regional and local collective structures is a result of integration as “becoming a member”. Having the chance to be a member of a society changes the feelings of immigrants in relation to belonging (Heckmann 2015:73). It is assumed that the individual dimensions of integration are causally dependent on each other (Esser 2001:17), but it can be expected that the identification with the host society takes longer than the other dimensions of integration (Heckmann 2015:73). In order for this process to be set in motion, the immigrant must be able to live out the Capability “Emotions”, which is: “Being able to have attachments to things and people outside ourselves; […]. Not having one’s emotional development blighted by fear and anxiety” (Nussbaum 2011:33–34). Even if the capability listed by Nussbaum has a wider frame of reference than the “identification feelings” of the immigrants, the overlap of content is not to be overlooked. To identify with a new nation requires an immense emotional change. This can only take place if individuals have the ability and opportunity to go through this process of transformation. The content comparison between the four dimensions of integration and the ten Central Capabilities has shown that there are capabilities for all four dimensions that fit together. The contents of the capabilities describe the conditions necessary for integration in the four dimensions. 6.2.3 Application of the Capabilities Approach with the refugee issue In this section, two examples from literature are looked at. In both, the Capabilities Approach is associated with refugees. While neither has a 99 direct connection to the topic of integration, they deal with it implicitly. Above all, it should be pointed out that a link between the thematic area of integration and the Capabilities Approach is possible. The Capability Approach to Environmental Refugees Kim Kyunghwan looks for a solution to the situation of environmental refugees (ER) in the Capabilities Approach. The goal is to represent the lack of freedoms (capabilities) of ER and to find ways to overcome those. It is noted that people who have had to leave their homeland due to environmental degradation are losing the following capabilities: “Bodily health”, “Bodily integrity”, “Other species” and “Control over one’s environment” (Kyunghwan 2012:16–17). With this observation, Kyunghwan pursues the goal to present what kind of help the ERs will need in the future. To summarise, the article says that a quick resettlement of the ERs is not sufficient to fix the restrictions of freedoms. On the contrary, if this happens without a clear understanding of the life circumstances of each individual who has fled and the knowledge of what capabilities need to be combined, it is possible that the situation of the ERs will worsen further. He pleads for a guarantee that the ERS will get everything they need to use and enjoy the Capabilities “Bodily health”, “Bodily integrity”, “Other species” and “Control over one’s environment” (:21–22). Capabilities via communities: the education and training role of Refugee Community Organisations In a study using the “multiple case study approach”, Jennifer Clarke has explored the effects of education and training offered by “refugee community organizations (RCOs)” on the capabilities of the refugees in Great Britain (Clarke 2013:6). Her goal was to find out how the refugees have come to the opportunity to expand their capabilities and what influence this has on their lives (:1). She found out that the work of the RCOs has two effects. Firstly, it changes the ability in language. Secondly, the possibility of speaking the national language has opened up further opportunities for the refugees. She comes to the conclusion that language skills could be increased especially by addressing the personal “conversion role-players”69 of the individual refugee. A “conversion 69 The term “conversion factors” originates from Amartya Sen. It means the relationship between a resource or primary good and the ability of a person to convert it into a capability (Sen 1992:38). For example, there is the offer of language tuition 100 role-players” helps refugees to convert a resource into a capability. That means that if the “conversion role-players” of the individual refugee were included in the language learning process, the national language could be learned more successfully (:17). The following figure by Clarke is intended to explain and summarize her results: (Source: Clarke 2013:16) Figure 6.2 The dynamic nature of capabilities On the basis of her study, Clarke shows that the promotion of one capability not only leads to greater expertise in the particular field, but instead also contributes to a stronger self-confidence and empowerment of the individual person. This will enable him/her to acquire additional capabilities (:16). 6.3 Strengths and limitations of the Capabilities Approach as the basis of an integration theory The list of strengths and limitations is part of the positioning of the two theories to each other. Knowing the advantages and limitations and with it the equal or alternative contents of both theories helps to identify if a complementation of Heckmann’s integration theory with the Capabilities Approach may be a solution to reach the research objectives. The Capabilities Approach is a widely used approach. There are reasons to for refugees. What possibilities does the refugee have to convert this offer into the capability “language knowledge” (Clarke 2013:3)? 101 use it as the basis of an integration theory and also reasons to reject it. These points will be considered in the following section. 6.3.1 Strengths The Capabilities Approach is interdisciplinary As already mentioned, the Capabilities Approach according to Martha Nussbaum is applicable to various contexts (Galamaga 2014:1; Dodd, Preibich & Su 2014:2–3) and is already used in different disciplines such as theology, welfare economics, social policy and political philosophy (Galamaga 2014:1; EKD 2015:57; Dodd, Preibich & Su 2014:2– 3; Robeyns 2006b:79). Ingrid Robeyns describes the breadth of the approach as an important feature, saying: “The capability approach is a broad normative framework for the evaluation and assessment of individual well-being and social arrangements, the design of policies, and proposals about social change in society” (Robeyns 2006b:78). Since the goal of integration is, according to the BAMF70, a social change in the society, the description of “design of policies” and “proposals about social change in society” indicate the possibility that the Capabilities Approach can be used as a basis for an integration theory. The approach is focused on the individual Another advantage of the Capabilities Approach as supplement to an integration theory is that the focus of the approach is on the individual person. The individual person is seen independently of the group to which he/she belongs. Nussbaum is of the opinion that each person is worthy of the same respect and consideration ( Nussbaum 2011:35). In her book “Woman and Human Development”, Martha Nussbaum takes a detailed look at the relationship between the family and women/mothers. Again, she stresses that the Capabilities Approach looks at the capabilities of each person individually. She says that mothers especially should not only be regarded just as carers and providers, but also valuable in themselves. It is important for Nussbaum to make it clear that she does not want to call for selfishness, but that love and care for others are integral parts of the approach. As a result, every single person has a right to basic care, freedoms and opportunities (Nussbaum 2000:246– 247). This perspective on the individual is a basis for integration, as can 70 Details of the definition of integration according to the BAMF s.3.2 Integration 102 be seen by the fact that Friedrich Heckmann, in his integration theory, interprets the individual migrant as a building block of successful integration (Heckmann 2015:289). Moreover, he also refers to David Lockwood (1964) and describes social integration as the linking of individuals with socio-economic, legal and cultural relations and institutions (:70). The focus of the Capabilities Approach is on capabilities and not on weaknesses As shown in 1.971 there are different possibilities for acquiring a residence permit in Germany. It is important to note that when people migrate to Germany with a work permit or because of study, the focus is already on one capability or several capabilities (profession or study access). As a result, their integration into German society can begin with their capacity for structural integration. Asylum seekers come to Germany due to a “weakness”. For whatever reason, they are no longer able to live their lives in their home country and now they are perceived as supplicants. A study by the Sinus Institute sums up that the integration discourse in Germany is mainly focused on the deficits, “[...] so that the resources of cultural capital of migrants, their adaptability and the state of their establishment in the middle of society are mostly underestimated”72 (Sinus Institut 2008:2; Bröse 2015). Johanna Bröse shows that immigrants have internal capabilities. She believes that any claim, which the refugees make in public, is a decision to experience and portray themselves as acting people with competences, skills and rights (Bröse 2015:102). People who have fled have basic and internal capabilities, which can be very obvious, such as work experience, or “hidden”, such as the experience of leaving the home country. All the experiences, skills, abilities, capital and capabilities that the refugees have, they can use for the integration process. As the Capabilities Approach provides the framework to focus on the strengths rather than the weaknesses of the refugees it is suitable to function as the supplementation or basis of an integration theory. 71 See 1.9 Clarification of key terms, Migrant/Migration 72 Translation by the author. “[…] so dass die Ressourcen an kulturellem Kapital von Migranten, ihre Anpassungsleistungen und der Stand ihrer Etablierung in der Mitte der Gesellschaft meist unterschätzt werden.“ 103 The Capabilities Approach is empowering In order to be empowered, it is necessary to have faith in the existence of one’s own skills and abilities and the opportunity to experience the freedom to use them. The objective of the combined capabilities is, as illustrated above, to enable this space of realisation (Nussbaum 2011:22). If this space is possible, further skills can develop (Fertile functionings) (Wolff & De-Shalit 2007:133–134; Nussbaum 2011:44). This is confirmed by a study on the life situations and integration experiences of young people and families with migration background in the town of Marburg. The study draws the conclusion that migrants use their existing abilities and skills in the integration process and continue to expand those over time (Mülich, Bungardt & Meineke 2003:68). Through this process, human beings are empowered to continue to pursue their goal of a good life (Clarke 2013:17). The Human Development Report 2016 displays another reason why immigrants should be empowered through their capabilities. It shows that huge inequalities and the concentration of capabilities and participation opportunities among just a small elite (for example: material capital, social contacts, good education, soft skills etc.) and opportunities (for example: a chance to get a well-paid job, the chance for a young mother to go back to school, etc.) leads to even more political, economic and social participation and contribution opportunities which can widen the gap between the unequal parties (UNDP 2016:80). In other words: Those who are well-off have more chances to become even better off. The suggestion is that empowerment for participation can reverse this vicious circle (:80). If those who already have many capabilities have more and more power and influence, people who are “poor in capabilities” will tend to lag behind. However, if this circle is broken by giving them the ability to influence and the power to use their capabilities, inequalities can be prevented. Combined capabilities are the connecting link between the immigrant and the host society By putting a dual focus on the capabilities of individuals as well as on the political, economic and social conditions, the Capabilities Approach builds a bridge between the immigrants and the host society. This is presented by Jennifer Clarke in the study on the effect of the refugee community organisations (Clarke 2013:5-7). The study shows that some of the women who had fled to England could only come to language lessons if certain conditions were met. These were, for example, 104 that their children were cared for in their vicinity. In a situation like this the Capabilities Approach asks the question: “How do the skills “being able to learn a new language” and the motivation to integrate have to be combined for these women to be able to take part in the language course?” The answer in this case would be: It is not only sufficient to offer a possibility of a language course including childcare, but to enable the women to make use of this opportunity, it was also necessary to create the possibility of nearby childcare. One strength of the Capabilities Approach is that it demands to eliminate all hindrances for a combination of capabilities (Robeyns 2006b:79). As a consequence the question is asked: “Which available basic and internal capabilities need a combination with a political, economic or social response so that integration will be supported?” If the existing capabilities are then combined, the connection to the whole society arises and the integration process is initiated. Since the combination of capabilities enables this integration process, the Capabilities Approach is suitable as the basis of an integration concept. 6.3.2 Limitations The Capabilities Approach, according to Martha Nussbaum, is an interdisciplinary approach emerging from development cooperation in India (Nussbaum 2013:106) and does not specifically target the integration of refugees in Germany. In the following, two aspects of the Capabilities Approach are discussed which may be interpreted as contrary to the German integration context and integration policy. Citizens – who qualifies? Martha Nussbaum calls on all states to make every one of the ten central capabilities available to their citizens (Nussbaum 2013:35–36). This is where Hannah Levinson’s criticism starts. She argues that the Capabilities Approach cannot be applied to refugees who are fleeing instate violence. She comes to this decision because refugees, who are forced to flee in-state violence, are often escaping from the very state that Nussbaum’s approach claims should be one of their reliable sources of aid. She questions whether another state, other than the home state of the refugees, is at all responsible for the utilisation of Nussbaum’s lists of capabilities (Levinson 2010:146). Levinson is of the opinion that the Capabilities Approach cannot give an answer to this because the humanness of refugees is still denied by certain states (:147–150). 105 Levinson’s critique is justified in the situations described by her. A state which does not recognise the “humanness” of the refugees will not promote their capabilities. Whom did Martha Nussbaum mean by citizens? After Martha Nussbaum sets up the above claim, she writes in parentheses behind it: “By mentioning citizens, I do not wish to deny that resident aliens, legal and illegal, have a variety of entitlements: I simply begin with the core case” (Nussbaum 2011:36). In general, Nussbaum entitles non-citizens to have rights and entitlements, but limits it with the word “variety” and does not write “all” or “the same”. At this point it does not become clear which entitlements Nussbaum allocates to the resident aliens. More important than this question is that the overall concept of the Capabilities Approach aims to remedy social injustice and to create opportunities for people who are socially disadvantaged and discriminated against (Galamaga 2014:62). Nussbaum does not specifically refer to the situation of the refugees, which is why her approach does not ask whether or not the host state should also enable the capabilities of the newly immigrated people. Adam Galamaga adds another point, which speaks for the fact that the Capabilities Approach has the intention to bring justice and dignity for all people. He characterizes the Capabilities Approach as a human rights concept (:61). Galamaga refers to the definition of a human rights concept by Heiner Bielefeldt, who defines human rights concepts based on three criteria: the universal claim, the emancipatory thrust and the tendency towards political-legal enforcement (Bielefeldt 1988:25). If the Capabilities Approach is categorized as human rights approach there is no need to question the entitlement of rights. Hannah Arendt, who has lived from 1941-1951 in the USA as a stateless Jewish refugee expresses “the right to have rights” for refugees as follows: “But we also know that there has to be another right besides those so-called “immutable” human rights – which are actually only citizens” rights and change according to historical and other circumstances – a right that does not arise from “the nation” and that is of a different guarantee than the national, namely the right of every person to membership in a political community”73 (Arendt 1949:765). 73 Translation by the author. Original: “Aber wir wissen auch, daß es noch ein anderes Recht geben muß außer jenen sogenannten »unveränderlichen« Menschenrechten – die eigentlich doch nur Staatsbürgerrechte sind und sich nach historischen und anderen Umständen ändern – ein Recht, das nicht »aus der Nation« 106 Hannah Arendt is calling for a right that is a “real” human right, namely which is due to every human being because he/she is human. The right Hannah Arendt is pleading for is the right of “membership in a political community”. As shown under 6.2.2, being integrated into a political community can be part of a “good life”. In principle, Nussbaum calls for the fulfilment of her fundamental question: "What does a life worthy of human dignity require?" (Nussbaum 2011:32) for all people, regardless of whether they are refugees or not. According to the Capabilities Approach, all human beings possess the dignity that entitles them to a life that reflects this (Nussbaum 2013:30,107) and thereby the approach can serve as a conception of a “real” human right. Freedom of choice: Does that fit into the context of German integration politics? As mentioned earlier one focus of the Capabilities Approach is on the freedom of choice. The focus is on the opportunities an individual person has and not so much on how and if he/she uses them (Nussbaum 2011:18). Freedom of choice is of high importance for Nussbaum. If this value of the Capabilities Approach is applied to the context of integration policy in Germany, a discrepancy arises. As described under the integration law of August 2016 decided a residence assignment up to three years (Bundesregierung Deutschland 2016a:1942– 1943). The Federal Government’s justification for this measure is to promote the sustainable integration of foreigners into German society. These legal regulations restrict the freedom of choice of the place of residence within Germany. The residence assignment is controversially discussed (Fleischmann 2016:2–3) and has, as previous applications have empirically proven, no positive effect on integration (Haug & Sauer 2007:159). In restricting the choices of the refugees regarding the self-determination of a place of residence, the German legal situation seems to be contrary to Nussbaum’s approach. Residence allocations restrict the refugees in the capability “Bodily integrity: to be able to move freely from place to place" (Nussbaum 2011:33). Under the argument of cultural sensibility, Nussbaum justifies that she has kept the individual elements of her list abstract and general, so that they are adaptable to the different nations. Within certain limits, and in view of entspringt und das einer anderen Garantie bedarf als der nationalen, nämlich das Recht jedes Menschen auf Mitgliedschaft in einem politischen Gemeinwesen.“ 107 their history and special circumstances, each nation can adapt their capability list (Nussbaum 2015:110). Possibly this restriction of freedom of choice can be seen as a “legitimate” adaptation in the list of capabilities that Germany makes for their reasons. In this way it is thinkable that the German legal situation fits into the Capabilities Approach. 6.4 Conclusions In the course of this chapter the Capabilities Approach with a focus on the research question was presented. The strengths and limitations of the approach in relation to an integration theory was worked out. In the following section first results will be summarized and an initial analysis will be carried out. 6.4.1 Refugees have capabilities and dignity The Capabilities Approach show that all humans including refugees have basic and internal capabilities. In dealing with refugees these are often not valued and social integration opportunities are usually not based on the capabilities but on the shortcomings of refugees. Once refugees receive the space and opportunity to act, they need the support of third parties to be able to bring their capabilities to full development (Bröse 2015:103). This corresponds to the concept of combined capabilities: the internal capabilities of the refugees must be combined with political, social and economic conditions in order to evolve towards a good life − and in the case of integration – to enable successful integration. The focus on the resources of the refugees is to broaden their opportunities to integrate actively into German society (Mülich, Bungardt & Meineke 2003:68). 6.4.2 The Capabilities Approach and the concept of integration share important contents It becomes clear that Nussbaum incorporates the core idea of integration in her capability “Affiliation”. According to her concept, it is the task of the state to enable every citizen to use and enjoy these capabilities. In addition, as illustrated above, the demands of Nussbaum overlap with the aim of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Nevertheless, the capability “Affiliation” alone is not enough to serve as an integration concept. It is rather a basis or condition on which integration should be built. Another social area, described by the BAMF, in which the refugee is to gain equal involvement in the integration process, is that of political 108 participation. This is comparable to the capability “Control over one’s environment” and the political means of action required therein. Martha Nussbaum takes exactly this situation of migrants as an example to clarify the discrepancy between internal and combined capabilities. Migrants may well have the ability to have a political opinion and make a political decisions (internal capability) but, due to the legal restrictions, they are unable vote (a combination with a political condition is not possible) (Nussbaum 2011:22). Here it is the task of a state to enable the combination of capabilities. 6.4.3 The recognition of the personal capabilities of the individual refugee supports integration Both sources of literature under 6.2.3 show that it is important for NGOs, Government organisations and individual persons who act as integration assistance to know the personal situation and capabilities of the refugees in order to support integration successfully. In the case of the environmental refugees Kyunghwan assumes that knowledge about the individual refugee is a prerequisite for good integration into the new society (Kyunghwan 2012:21). In the situation of the refugees community organisations, the knowledge of the personal situation of refugees is represented as condition by which the combination of capabilities was possible (Clarke 2013:17). The knowledge of the existing abilities and opportunities (basic and internal capabilities) and the necessity (combined capabilities) of each individual immigrant serves as a basis for individual integration assistance, offers, and projects. 6.4.4 The Capabilities Approach is suited to serve as the basis of an integration theory The Capabilities Approach is interdisciplinary and yet it is evident that it was not written specifically for the context of the integration of refugees in Germany. This is also reflected in the fact that the question about the rights of the refugees does not arise in the Capabilities Approach. This, however, does not mean that it cannot be used as the basis of an integration theory, since the approach clearly shows that Nussbaum grants each person the right for personal development of capabilities (Nussbaum 2015:109). If Nussbaum’s approach is taken as supplementation for an integration theory, the basic and internal capabilities of the individual refugee are appreciated and promoted as a starting-point of integration. Besides this, an integration theory on the basis of the Capabilities Approach 109 would also focus on how these have to be combined with a political, social or economic condition in order that they can be used and enjoyed in the integration process. Furthermore, the Capabilities Approach is suited to serve as the basis of an integration theory since it would empower the individual immigrant and build a bridge between the immigrant and the host society. 6.4.5 Summary It has become clear which capabilities need to be promoted so that social, cultural, identificational and structural integration becomes possible. The capabilities that are important for integration are these: “Affiliation”, “Control over one’s environment”, “Practical reason”, “Senses, imagination and thought”, and “Emotions”. By concentrating on these capabilities in the further work of this study, it is not assumed that the other five central capabilities have no significance for integration. Instead they are either seen as pre-set for the integration process or are not directly related to the integration process. For example, the adequate accommodation required in the capability “Bodily health” is very much a condition for integration, but is presumed to be a basic condition, since the question of integration is no longer about the “Relief” situation as was the case in the mid of 201574. The question about a shelter has to be considered once the integration process is compromised by laws, regulations, or discrimination. In the Capabilities Approach, the state must enable each individual person to live out and experience these capabilities (Nussbaum 2011:35–36). If the German state has the aim of enabling new people to participate in all four dimensions of integration, it should promote the combination of capabilities, elaborated here on the basis of the Capabilities Approach according to Martha Nussbaum. The next chapter will deal with the overlaps between the Capabilities Approach and Heckmann’s Integration Theory. In addition, a possible fusion of the two theories will be elaborated on. 74 For a detailed description see 2.3.2 Latest history of migration to Germany.

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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.