Moving from Integration to Participation? Notes on the Interrelationship between Communal and Associative Relationships
There are current trends in public and academic debates which point toward a wish of some analysts and observers to “de-culturalize” debates on international migration. In German debates, it is the term “integration” which has an alleged culturalizing effect and which therefore should be avoided and discarded as a concept of practice and as a concept of theory. In contrast to these positions we argue that there is a fundamental nexus between communal relations (Vergemeinschaftung or integration) and sociation (Vergesellschaftung). It is only by relating communal relations and sociation that we can understand the logics of important institutions such as citizenship and welfare states. Analytical concepts such as Vergemeinschaftung and Vergesellschaftung are necessary because they help us to account for fundamental changes. We find that in recent decades the meaning of integration connected to nationhood in public debates has changed from an ethno-cultural understanding to a republican one which is simultaneously characterized by increasing demands upon individuals who are conceptualized as autonomous persons (individualization).