Gary P. Freeman of University of Texas at Austin reviews International Immigration Policy: A Theoretical and Comparative Analysis by Eytan Meyers. Eytan Meyers discusses the numerous studies that explore immigration policies of individual receiving countries. But these studies share several weaknesses. First and foremost, they are empirically orientated and lack a general theory. Second, most examine the policy of single country during a limited period, or, in a few cases, are contributed volumes analyzing each country separately. In general, immigration policy literature tends to be a-theoretic, to focus on specific periods and particular countries, and constitutes an array of discrete bits. This book is a response to this trend, offering a theoretical approach to immigration policy. It explains how governments decide on the number of immigrants they will accept; whether to differentiate between various ethnic groups; whether to accept refugees and on what basis; and whether to favour permanent immigration over migrant workers. The book also answers such questions as: How much influence do extreme-right parties have on the determination of immigration policy? Why do anti-immigration parties and initiatives enjoy greater success in local-state elections, and in the elections for the European Parliament, than in national elections? And under what circumstances does immigration policy become an electoral issue? Meyers draws on a wide array of sources on migration policy-making and using them derives proposed models in a way that few others have done before him. In addition, the book interrelates global and domestic factors that jointly influence government policy-making on international migration in a way that helps to clarify both spheres. Lastly, the work combines historical data with contemporary processes, in a way that draws lessons from the past while recognizing that changing circumstances usually revise governmental responses.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00249.xe.