Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Ideology of Integration: An examination of the New Zealand and Ireland case studies

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posted on 2021-11-14, 12:37 authored by Milosevic, Miran

The study of integration policy is of particular relevance in an increasingly globalised world, since integration policy was shown to be important to the maintenance of social cohesion of immigrant receiving host societies (Papillon 2002, p. iii, Schugurensky 2003, pp.11-12, Friessen 2003, pp.187-191). This thesis sought to examine the fit of two explanatory theoretical models in explaining integration policy outcomes in two case study states, Ireland and New Zealand, during the period 1995-2006. More specifically, the thesis tried to determine whether the influence of the model of national membership adopted in each study case (civic membership in the New Zealand case and ethno cultural membership in the case of the Republic of Ireland) was able to anticipate the correct outcomes with regard to integration policies adopted during the study period, or whether political party positioning on socio economic lines was more important in anticipating integration policy outcomes. This assessment was conduct in light of apparent ‘fit’ of the respective theoretical models in each study case to integration policies enacted during the study period, in order to determine whether the theories that seem to fit the best anticipate the correct outcomes in each study case.  This was a salient question in light of the dichotomy in integration policy approaches in the two study states. Notwithstanding that both New Zealand and Ireland were immigrant receiving states during the study period, there was a marked difference between New Zealand’s approach to integration policy formulation and that of Ireland. New Zealand’s approach to integration policy was well structured and became more developed, while Ireland did not have a cohesive integration policy during the study period, relying instead on a reactionary approach composed of a collection of policy statements and ‘ad hoc’, reactionary policies.  As noted briefly above, the two theoretical models that were assessed for fit against outcomes in integration policies in the study states were the Brubaker theory of membership and the theory of political party positioning along the socio-economic left/right axis. The Brubaker theory suggests that integration policies are the outcome of national membership models (i.e. a civic or ethno cultural conception of national belonging), whilst the theory of party positioning along socio-economic lines suggests that integration policies are based on the influence of socio economic political party ideology. An investigation was made of the fit of the Brubaker membership models against that of the socio economic political ideology models in predicting integration policy outcomes in each respective case study. In addition, an examination of the interaction between the two explanatory theories was conducted, and an assessment made of whether this interaction had an impact on integration policy formulation. In exploring the interaction between two competing explanations for integration policy outcomes, this thesis aimed to facilitate a more comprehensive understanding for the reasons of the divergence in the approach to integration policy in the two case study states, and also a better understanding of the factors impacting on integration policy in general.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Political Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


McMillan, Katherine; Barker, Fiona