Immigration, Social Integration and Crime
A Cross-National Approach
Routledge-Cavendish – 2009 – 224 pages
The problem of social control has constituted the acid test for the entire issue of immigration and integration. But whilst recent studies show that the crime rate for non-nationals is three, four or more, times higher than that of the country’s 'own' citizens, academic interest in these statistics has been inhibited by the political difficulties they raise. Immigration, Social Integration and Crime addresses this issue directly. Providing a thorough analysis of immigration and crime rates in all of the main European countries, as well as examining the situation in the US, Luigi M. Solivetti concludes that the widespread notion that a large non-national population produces high crime rates must be rejected. Noting the undeniably substantial, but significantly variable, contribution of non-nationals to crime statistics in Western Europe, he nevertheless goes on to analyze and explain the factors that influence the relationship between immigration and crime. It is the characteristics of the 'host' countries that are shown to be significantly associated with non-nationals’ integration and, ultimately, their involvement in crime. In particular, Solivetti concludes, it is 'social capital' in the host societies – comprized of features such as education, transparency, and openness – that plays a key role in non-nationals’ integration chances, and so in their likelihood to commit crime. Supported by extensive empirical data and statistical analysis, Immigration, Social Integration and Crime provides an invaluable contribution to one of the most pressing social and political debates – in Europe, and elsewhere.
Introduction Section 1: The Debate on Immigration and Criminality: Past and Present 1.1 Immigration and Criminality: Some Basic Questions Section 2: The Research Project 2.1 Objectives and Methods of Research 2.2 Countries Covered by the Research 2.3 The Non-National Populations Covered by the Research: Some Preliminary Remarks Section 3: National and Non-National Population in Western Europe 3.1 Population of Western Europe and its Evolution in Time 3.2 Immigration and the Presence of Non-Nationals in Europe: What has Changed? 3.3 Immigrant Influxes and the Origin of Non-Nationals Section 4: Criminality in the Countries of Western Europe 4.1 Criminality and Social Control 4.2 Immigrants and Criminality in Western Europe: Easy Stereotypes, Difficult Realities 4.3 Further Remarks on Variations of Non-Nationals Populations and Variations of Criminality: What if the Explanation is not Immigration? Section 5: Non-Nationals in Prison, Non-Nationals Charged 5.1 Some Data 5.2 Non-Nationals Incarceration Index Section 6: Indicators of Socio-Economic Condition, Integration and Origin 6.1 Integration: A Complex Concept and Five Models 6.2 Socio-Economic and Cultural Differences between the Host Countries 6.3 Differences in the Integration of Non-Nationals in the Various Countries 6.4 Differences in the Origin of Non-Nationals Present in the Various Countries 6.5 Association Between the Incarceration Index and the Socio-Economic Parameters in the Various European Countries
Luigi M. Solivetti is Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Statistics of the Sapienza University of Rome. He has carried out research work in the fields of Social Control and Social Change, extensively publishing at the international level.