Migration and Integration in Germany: The First Two Decades of the Twenty-First Century

Migration and integration have become dominant political topics in the United States and Germany. The German experience in 2015-2016 is often cited in the U.S. discourse on migration, but there has been little public examination of the progress and challenges since then.

In a new Issue Brief for AICGS, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Heckmann gives a short overview of some major aspects of the German migration and integration experience since the beginning of the new century. He focuses on four key themes and issues:

  • Migration,
  • Integration and integration policies,
  • The refugee crisis, and
  • National identity challenges.

This publication is part of AICGS’ conference on Migration and Integration in Germany and the United States: Success, Failure or Work In Progress?


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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Friedrich Heckmann

European Forum for Migration Studies

Friedrich Heckmann is Professor of sociology and director of the European Forum for Migration Studies at the University of Bamberg. He studied sociology, history, and economics at the universities of Münster, Kiel, Kansas (USA), and Erlangen-Nürnberg.

He received an M.A. in sociology from the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1967 and his Ph.D. from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in 1972, where he worked as an assistant and researcher. He was Professor of sociology at the Hamburg School of Economics and Political Science between 1982 and 1992. Since 1992 he has been a professor at the University of Bamberg.

His main research interests are in the areas of migration, interethnic relations, integration of migrants, social structure of Germany, and sociological theory. He has served as a policy adviser and expert consultant on migration and integration for the German parliament, the German federal government, Länder governments, cities, and nongovernmental organizations.