Migration Undoing the Social Fabric

Daily Mail: Forget the Greek crisis or Britain's referendum, this tidal wave of migrants could be the biggest threat to Europe since the war
Uncontrolled migra-tion impacts unfairly on benefits, education, housing and public transport in ways that destroy any notion of the contributory element that lies at the heart of European welfare states.

As we have witnessed in various European countries, the anger this engenders quickly assumes political forms, with the rise of neo-Nazi parties. What on earth do Europe’s leaders imagine is driving this angry populism, including that of established legal immigrants? The common fisheries policy?

Sections of the liberal media insist on relentlessly depicting the individual tragic stories of illegal migrants, with the BBC correspondent Clive Myrie, for example, telling one passing migrant ‘you’ve made it’ as he disembarked from a rescue ship in the Mediterranean.

In fact, illegal migration is an insidious problem that strips desperately poor countries of precisely the sort of enterprising young people who ought to remain there, while oppressing the poorest sections of our own societies with people who compete for diminishing resources.

It also raises the questions of whether one can simply uproot people from entirely different cultural universes and expect them to thrive in societies that may subscribe to other values, with radically different expectations of their citizens.
It is old news that diversity tears apart the social fabric and reduces trust in a society. Multi-ethnic states are held together by a strong central power or they do not hold together. The Europeans are trying for a multinational effort with the EU which requires putting old nationalities aside, while simultaneously allowing in a flood of migrants that revives those nationalities to a degree unseen since World War II. With social mood already negative and nationalism on the rise, the migration policy is akin to tossing a match into a gas can.

A new study backs up Putnam's finding on the negative effects of diversity: Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context
In this paper we argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust. Previous within-country analyses of the relationship between contextual ethnic diversity and trust have been conducted at higher levels of aggregation, concealing substantial variation in actual exposure to ethnic diversity. In contrast, we analyze how ethnic diversity of the immediate micro-context –where interethnic exposure is inevitable – affects trust. We do this using Danish survey data linked with register-based data, which enables us to obtain precise measures of the ethnic diversity of each individual’s residential surroundings. We focus on contextual diversity within a radius of 80 meters of a given individual, but compare the effect in the micro-context to the impact of diversity in more aggregate contexts. The results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, while the effect vanishes in larger contextual units. This supports the conjecture that interethnic exposure underlies the negative relationship between ethnic diversity in residential contexts and social trust.


  1. Do you have any book or website recommendations discussing the reasons / history behind conflicts between groups of different cultures living within the same area?

    It seems like Bosnia is in the future for some of these places - but sometimes these things take ages to play out before conflict begins.

    1. “Affirmative Action”: A Worldwide Disaster

      How Colonialism Affected the Rwandan Genocide

      Amy Chua's World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

      Yesterday, a friend recommended The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott (also The Jewel in the Crown TV series based on the novels), about the British during the last years in India. It covers some of these issues.

      Any multi-ethnic states in history, such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire. the Middle East presently, former Yugoslavia

      For a broader view of civilization level conflict, Sam Huntington's Clash of Civilizations probably still holds up. I haven't read it since it came out in the 1990s.

      For micro, you can search for Robert Putnam's work.

      There's lots of evidence around: The Most Diverse Cities Are Often The Most Segregated

      Putnam and the Danish study linked in the post are probably the best for current times. Most of history involved different ethnic groups with historic ties to a region. Until recently, most people never traveled more than 50 miles from home in their entire life. What's happening in the modern West has never happened before in history outside of maybe the capital cities of major empires.