English title: ‘‘It’s all in the mix’’: constructing ethnic segregation as a social problem in Germany

Author(s): Sybille Münch -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009

Abstract

The creation of a balanced ethnic mix at the neighbourhood level is a common objective of contemporary housing policies in many European countries. According to its proponents, these policies aim to stimulate social mobility and social integration, often within a wider attempt at urban regeneration. Germany is looking back at a long tradition of mixing strategies aimed at ethnic desegregation. Whereas other countries take a more subtle approach, targeting ethnic segregation indirectly by means of a social or housing mix, some German cities have tried to prevent ethnic concentrations by imposing movingin bans or quotas on foreigners in certain quarters, restrictions that are still maintained under the recent anti-discrimination legislation. In applying a constructionist approach, the article critically discusses the reasoning behind the German policies. It tries to shed light on some shared features in the discourse on ethnic segregation across Europe and highlights the particularities of the German strategies. It further tackles the question of future prospects for desegregative housing policies against the background of demographic realities, the entrance of financial investors in the (German) housing market and the ongoing shrinkage of the social housing sector.

Volume: 24

Issue: 4

From page no: 441

To page no: 455

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1007/S10901-009-9160-2

Journal: Journal of Housing and the Built Environment