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Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, some sane and clear-minded analysis, 4 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (Hardcover)
In a debate that is unhelpfully shrill and ideological on both sides, Collier takes a refreshingly cear-headed and objective path, walking his reader through the theory and empirical evidence to arrive at a few broad conclusions. In short, while immigration from the very poor, dysfunctional countries of the Bottom Billion to rich, successful countries is a huge economic boon for the migrants themselves and modestly beneficial to the receiving societies and economies too, the social and political costs are getting higher and higher as diaspora communities get larger and larger, and popular hostility among the indigenous population grows, jeopardising the high levels of mutual social trust and regard that made the complex cooperationn systems that advanced countries have put in place over time possible. Collier also looks at the cost to the countries of origin, who are losing many of their most qualified, enterprising and productive citizens.

The ideology of "Multiculturalism", which encourages migrants to keep their own cultures instead of assimilating to the host country's, exacerbates problems since it delays the assimilation process necessary to ensure their integration into the economy and society and undermines the high levels of mutual acceptance and trust welfare states require. He also questions the wisdom of encouraging migrants to hold on to social models that are in large part responsible for the dysfunctional societies they fled in the first place.

Given that on current trends and with the current policies in place, this migration is only going to accelerate in the years to come, Collier makes a convincing case that the flows have to be more tightly regulated in Europe than is the case today if we are to preserve our welfare states and ensure the acceptance, integration and success of the migrants already here.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Jan 2014 01:03:14 GMT
Annie says:
I am an immigrant, have been for several decades, I find it distasteful to be expected to assimilate - that takes several generations. But I am integrated into the country I live in. But I am lucky I came of my own free will, not escaping war or the like. We cannot expect all immigrants to lose their identity, it just is not possible. We are all individuals.

Posted on 15 Apr 2015 17:58:33 BDT
B Sebastien, thanks for v good concise summary of this book in your review.

Annie - to some extent the issue is probably what we mean by 'assimilation' or 'integration'; the book does not really discuss the differences or define exactly how far immigrants need to 'assimilate'. As he says in the book, the author, the grandson of a German immigrant and married to a Dutch wife who mainly grew up in Italy, has certainly not disowned his German ancestry and has visited his ancestral village in Germany, nor does he expect or want his family members to renounce all ties, loyalties and customs from countries other than Britain.

I am sure he would acknowledge that there is a considerable spectrum of degrees of assimilation but he simplifies his 'models' to make his points.

However, he does make the factual point based on research that people are on average more likely to make sacrifices for the good of their society as a whole, whether paying taxes to help its less fortunate members to reporting crime they see to the police if they see the other members of that society as being in some sense their 'own' people rather than foreign. This does not have to mean they are of the same race. You can e.g. have Japanese Americans and Irish Americans in the same country, but if the society is to work and stick together in a crisis it helps if they are Americans first and share a good deal of common culture, even if the former still drink more Sake and the latter more Guinness.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2015 19:38:53 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 15 Oct 2015 19:40:10 BDT]
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