Adam Luedtke

City University of New York
Social Sciences

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My research examines the politics surrounding immigration policy. Specifically, I am interested in explaining variations in immigrant rights and freedoms across different levels of government. In Europe, I explore the relationship between national and EU-level immigration policy, while in the United States and Canada I analyze the relationship between state/provincial and federal policy. Governments face difficult choices about regulating immigration, due to the imperatives of globalization, the labor demands of business, the xenophobia of public opinion, and the legal-institutional protections guaranteed by democratic norms and civil and human rights. This balance varies considerably, though, as one moves from local to global governance and back again, and countervailing pressures push different aspects of immigration policy towards regulation at different levels. Ultimately, I foresee the development of a "World Migration Organization" at global level.

"Brexit and Migration: A Disastrous Vote that Accomplishes Nothing." 2016. Policy Trajectories: Blog of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology.
Abstract: A wealth of data shows that the Brexit vote was motivated most directly by opposition to immigration. The will of the British majority is for less immigration, and polls show “leave” voters saw Brussels as enabling or causing immigration. Sadly for xenophobes among the “leave” voters, however, the belief that Brexit can significantly decrease immigration is incorrect. Withdrawal from the EU allows no avenues to reduce immigration and thus (where foreigners are concerned) accomplishes nothing. In fact, EU immigration policies have helped the UK control immigration, by preventing many asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants from entering the EU or transiting to the UK. Brexit thus accomplishes nothing in terms of allowing the UK to reduce immigration. It is a disaster only for the vision of a democratic federation of nations in Europe.
Chapter: "Fortifying Fortress Europe? The Effect of September 11 on EU Immigration Policy" in Immigration Policy and Security: U.S., European and Commonwealth Perspectives, Chapter 7. Terri E. Givens, Gary P. Freeman and David L. Leal (eds.). Routledge (Taylor and Francis): pp.130-147.
Abstract: After September 11, attempts to "harmonize" EU immigration policy were either blocked by national governments, or shifted towards more of a security emphasis. Despite the ambitious Tampere program of 1999, by 2005 it was clear that there would be no common EU immigration policy anytime soon. What happened between the optimism of 1999 and the failures of 2005? Can 9/11 and the general specter of terrorism really be blamed for this dramatic setback? Or are there more conventional culprits at work, such as economic recession, political infighting, and a general reluctance to let European integration proceed too far into sensitive national powers? This chapter will attempt to answer these questions by looking at evidence (both direct and indirect) of a “9/11 effect” on E.U. immigration policy. Directly, I will attempt to find evidence of E.U. justice and interior ministers shifting their attention away from immigration and towards fighting terrorism (since both issues are usually handled by the same ministry in European countries). Indirectly, I will use my interviews with national and E.U. civil servants (conducted mainly in Fall 2004 and Spring 2005) to assess whether 9/11 changed their political climate and made the job of building an E.U. immigration policy a more difficult one. This chapter will close by assessing whether the few E.U. immigration laws which did pass allowed the more generous member states to lower their standards and become stricter towards the rights and freedoms of immigrants. If so, there is a large body of literature pointing to security concerns (such as terrorism) as being the primary causal factor pushing towards these types of restrictive immigration policies (Huysmans 2005; Rudolph 2003; Simon 1989; Weiner 1995).
Adam Luedtke (ed.). 2010. Migrants and Minorities: The European Response. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Abstract: Europe stands on the brink of a new era of diversity and immigration. Although many Europeans would prefer to ignore this fact, the signs are everywhere. Societies and politics are being irrevocably changed by their encounters with migrants, both recent and settled. This book pinpoints the specific trends and emerging patterns that allow us to understand what these changes mean for the future of Europe. On the ground level, institutions like schools and local governments have charted unique courses for dealing with diversity. And from above, the institutions of Brussels become ever more important for regulating the big picture. The passage of the Lisbon Treaty means that common EU rules on immigration will now be easier to achieve (and more likely). But what exact role is played by the institutions of the EU in Brussels, and how does this vary across policy areas? How are Europeans on all levels dealing with the sensitive questions raised by Islam, and how are migrants and minorities dealing with the hostility and xenophobia they routinely encounter? And finally, how have the experiences of different European countries in integrating their immigrants and minorities changed our comparative understanding of race, ethnicity and citizenship? These three sets of issues—EU-level regulations, Islam and Xenophobia, and comparative integration policy—are the topics that motivate and structure this book. Noted experts on each topic offer the latest research findings, which collectively advance our understanding of how Europe will deal with diversity in the 21st Century.
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2774.5444
Lahav, Gallya and Adam Luedtke. 2013. "Europeanization and Immigration Policy." Charlotte Bretherton and Michael Mannin, eds. The Europeanization of European Politics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Abstract: While lack of internal borders promotes intra-EU migration, the common external frontier has been one of the main forces pushing national governments (often reluctantly) towards EU-level cooperation on immigration. Since Schengen took effect in the early 1990s, increasing efforts to “Europeanize” immigration policy have exposed a major polemic: how can EU member-states reconcile efforts to control the movement of people across national frontiers with those to promote open borders, free markets, and liberal standards? Both despite and because of increasing integration, steps towards a common EU migration policy have brought competing pressures and political conflicts to the surface, and raise several practical questions. What interests motivate states to cooperate (or not) on immigration? On what basis is such cooperation be organized, and how much national discretion should there be? What are the effects of regional integration on immigration, border control, and policies of exclusion in a Europe of changing boundaries? On balance, what can Europeanization of migration tell us about European democratic norms more broadly? This chapter reflects upon these questions by considering the response of EU institutions and member-states to human mobility and international migration. It provides a historical overview of migration policy at the EU level, from its initial tentative steps towards policy coordination in the Maastricht Treaty (1992), to the de jure legal Europeanization of most aspects of migration policy (citizenship as the major exception) under the Lisbon Treaty (2009). It then broadly examines state interests and disincentives for Europeanizing migration. The final section considers the EU as both constraint and opportunity for states in regulating migration, and considers immigration's relative impact in the six pathways of Europeanization described in the Introduction to this volume (Figure 1.3). Broadly speaking, the chapter reveals how and to what degree an issue like immigration—at the very core of national sovereignty and identity—becomes Europeanized.
DOI: 10.1057/9781137275394
Chapter: The Ethics of a Global Response to the Governance of Migration in Ethics and Risk Management, Edited by Lina Svedin, 07/2015: chapter 10: pages 163-179; Information Age Publishing., ISBN: 978-1-68123-093-1
Abstract: Human migration in contexts of economic crisis or ethno-religious conflict, poses social and economic risks both for migrant-receiving and migrant-sending states. This chapter will explore the ethical gains that would come from the establishment of a global institution for governing migration issues. The chapter will outline the ethical basis for a negotiating forum and dispute settlement mechanism for migration, similar in function to the World Trade Organization. The proposed World Migration Organization (WMO) would allow for both ethical and practical gains by minimizing the wide variety of acute risks facing all actors associated with migration. The chapter will show how such a regulatory scheme would not only satisfy utilitarian ethical concerns in optimizing practical benefits and minimizing immigration-related risks, but would also make world migration outcomes fit better (if not perfectly) with other ethical frameworks like human rights. The establishment of a WMO would, in theory, benefit all parties concerned (immigrants themselves, employers, host country voters, law enforcement agencies, and politicians in both sending and receiving countries). However, the very acuteness of migration as a social risk—seen by many receiving-country citizens as threatening national identity, security, and economies—makes the establishment of a WMO unlikely in practical reality, despite the variety of ethical/utilitarian gains that could be realized from such a scheme.
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1733.8320
Luedtke, Adam and Graeme Boushey. 2006. “Fiscal Federalism and the Politics of Immigration: Centralized and Decentralized Immigration Policies in Canada and the United States.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 8 (3):207-24.
Abstract: Why would immigration policy be centralized or decentralized in a federal system? What incentives do political actors at the central and sub-central levels of government possess vis-à-vis immigration policy? Taking account of the growing need to make sense of the unique features of immigration policy in a federal system (e.g. the mobility of labor, regional and national identities), and the unique challenges to federalism posed by immigration (e.g. public policy co-ordination, social cohesiveness), this paper advances a general theory of immigration politics in federations. It then illustrates this theory through discussion of two empirical cases: Canada and the United States.
DOI: 10.1080/13876980600858481
Breunig, C. and Luedtke, A. 2008. "What Motivates the Gatekeepers? Explaining Governing Party Preferences on Immigration." Governance 21:123–146.
Abstract: Most scholarship on immigration politics is made up of isolated case studies or cross-disciplinary work that does not build on existing political science theory. This study attempts to remedy this shortcoming in three ways: (1) we derive theories from the growing body of immigration literature, to hypothesize about why political parties would be more or less open to immigration; (2) we link these theories to the broader political science literature on parties and institutions; and (3) we construct a data set on the determinants of immigration politics, covering 18 developed countries from 1987 to 1999. Our primary hypothesis is that political institutions shape immigration politics by facilitating or constraining majoritarian sentiment (which is generally opposed to liberalizing immigration). Our analysis finds that in political systems where majoritarianism is constrained by institutional “checks,” governing parties support immigration more strongly, even when controlling for a broad range of alternative explanations.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0491.2007.00388.x
Luedtke, Adam, Kristian Alexander & Douglas Byrd. 2010. “The Politics of Visas.” Journal of Diplomacy 11 (1):147-60.
Abstract: Increasing globalization and economic gains from migration (both tourism and long-term), as well as the heavy transaction costs of regulating migration, lead states to grant visa-free travel rights to nationals of certain countries. There is wide variation, however, in the level of visa-free travel enjoyed by nationals of various countries. As of 2006, Denmark, Finland and the United States led the pack, with 130 countries granting visa-free travel to their citizens. At the bottom was Afghanistan, with its nationals enjoying visa-free travel to only 12 countries. Our analysis seeks to pinpoint the strongest causal factors explaining this variation. Obviously variables like population size, wealth or colonial ties could account for some of the variance, but what about more subjective perceptions, such as the level of freedom or civil conflict in a country? Do Muslim countries face more discrimination, ceterus paribus? Does the number of terrorist attacks in a country have an effect on restricting its citizens’ visa-free travel rights? What about the amount of trade that a country engages in? Or the health or education level of its citizens? In short, when one state decides that the citizens of another state should be allowed in without needing to apply for a visa and undergo scrutiny, what logic is driving this calculation? We test 19 independent variables using OLS regression, finding that colonial heritage (British or Spanish), terrorism, democracy and wealth are the most important predictors of visa-free travel rights. Surprisingly, health, trade, population size, geographic location and Islam do not appear to play a causal role.
Luedtke, A. 2011. "Uncovering European Union Immigration Legislation: Policy Dynamics and Outcomes." International Migration 49:1-27.
Abstract: The member states of the European Union (EU) have recently experimented with constructing a common immigration policy. This gives rise to an important and fascinating question: what happens to immigration policy once it is no longer made in national capitals? Have national governments been able to retain ultimate control over the field of EU immigration policy? Or do we see slippage towards supranational power, with the Commission, Parliament, and Court of Justice expanding their influence? If EU institutions have gained power, do they use this power to defend the rights and freedoms of immigrants against restrictionist national governments? Using participant interviews (listed in Appendix I) and documentary analysis, I analyse negotiations over three EU immigration laws: the directives on family reunification, long-term residence, and economic migration. I assess whether national preferences are implemented in these directives, or whether supranational institutions have moved policy away from national preferences, potentially expanding immigrant rights and freedoms.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2009.00588.x
Christian Breunig, Xun Cao and Adam Luedtke. 2012. "Global Migration and Political Regime Type: A Democratic Disadvantage." British Journal of Political Science 42:825-854.
Abstract: An indicator of globalization is the growing number of humans crossing national borders. In contrast to explanations for flows of goods and capital, migration research has concentrated on unilateral movements to rich democracies. This focus ignores the bilateral determinants of migration and stymies empirical and theoretical inquiry. The theoretical insights proposed here show how the regime type of both sending and receiving countries influences human migration. Specifically, democratic regimes accommodate fewer immigrants than autocracies and democracies enable emigration while autocracies prevent exit. The mechanisms for this divergence are a function of both micro-level motivations of migrants and institutional constraints on political leaders. Global bilateral migration data and a statistical method that captures the higher-order dependencies in network data are employed in this article.
DOI: 10.1017/S0007123412000051
Boushey, Graeme and Adam Luedtke. 2011. "Immigrants Across the U.S. Federal Laboratory: Explaining State-Level Innovation in Immigration Policy." State Politics and Policy Quarterly 11 (4):390-414.
Abstract: The passage of a restrictive immigration law in Arizona in 2010 rekindled an old debate in the United States on immigration policy and the role of federalism. Despite periodic constitutional controversies, scholars of federalism and U.S. state politics have not adequately explained variation in state-level policy making on immigration. The authors explore pressures leading to state immigration policy innovation and adoption in the United States. The article evaluates factors leading to the introduction and adoption of two types of policies: those dictating the cultural and economic incorporation of immigrants and those attempting to control their flow and settlement. Factors such as fiscal federalism, ethnic contact, and ethnic threat generate incentives for states to pass such laws. The authors compiled a comprehensive data set of state immigration laws from the past decade to explain how factors commonly associated with national immigration policy development—economic conditions, rates of immigration, demographics, party control, and political institutions—influence state-level immigration policy activity.
DOI: 10.1177/1532440011419286
2015. “‘Crisis’ and Reality in European Immigration Policy,” Current History 114(770), pp. 89-94.
Abstract: Despite sensationalizing media coverage that depicts immigration in terms of “human floods” and other “aquatic metaphors,” Luedtke argues that the European Union has steadily and quietly developed a common immigration policy closely linked to the union’s overarching project of political integration. He observes, “Europeanization has redefined what it means to be a foreigner and has made it easier to circulate freely inside the EU.” Even though national leaders continue to use the EU as a scapegoat for populist complaints about foreigners, Luedtke says most leaders recognize that the only way to effectively control immigration on a national level is to pool resources and sovereignty “to better protect the EU’s external borders.”
Svedin, Lina, Adam Luedtke, and Thad Hall. 2010. Risk Regulation in the United States and European Union: Controlling Chaos. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Abstract: Globalization and technology have altered public fears and changed expectations of how government should make people safer. This book analyzes how Europeans and Americans perceive and regulate risk. The authors show how public fears about risk are filtered through political systems and subjective lenses of perception to pressure governments to insure against risk. Globalization and federalism are two forces that promote convergence between Europe and America, while culture and politics often push governments down different roads. This tension is explored in case studies dealing with four cutting-edge risk frontiers: immigration, flood control, food safety and voting technology.
Terri Givens and Adam Luedtke. 2005. “European Immigration Policies in Comparative Perspective: Issue Salience, Partisanship and Immigrant Rights,” Comparative European Politics 3, pp. 1-22.
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of issue salience and political partisanship on the restrictiveness of immigration laws in France, Germany, and the UK, from 1990 to 2002. Our first hypothesis is that immigration policymaking in liberal states is normally dominated by client politics, which minimizes restrictiveness towards immigrant rights, but under conditions of high issue salience and prominent media coverage, policy becomes more restrictive. Our second hypothesis is that Left and Right parties are equally restrictive vis-à-vis policies to control immigration, but Right parties are more restrictive vis-à-vis policies to integrate already-resident immigrants into society. We statistically test both of these hypotheses in Western Europe, while controlling for the impact of unemployment, GDP growth, and numbers of immigrants and refugees. Our analysis confirms that issue salience is a predictor of the restrictiveness of national immigration laws and that partisanship plays a role in policies towards the integration of already-resident immigrants, but not towards controlling the inflow of new immigrants.
DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.cep.6110051
Givens, T. and Luedtke, A. (2004), The Politics of European Union Immigration Policy: Institutions, Salience, and Harmonization. Policy Studies Journal, 32: 145–165.
Abstract: This article examines recent attempts to create a common European Union (EU) immigration policy. This “harmonized” policy has faced political blockages, despite being seen by most observers as necessary if the EU is to meet its goal of free movement of labor. Because of this resistance, immigration harmonization has lagged behind other EU policy areas. To explain national resistance to harmonizing immigration policy, our article develops a theoretical and conceptual model of how immigration policy is potentially harmonized at the EU level, but how this harmonization can be blocked or restricted. We explain these political blockages with a model of intergovernmental bargaining that focuses on political salience, political partisanship, and institutions that protect immigrant rights. We argue that these national-level factors have determined the success and the nature of various harmonization proposals, by determining the positions of member states when negotiating in the European Council. Our primary hypothesis is that when the political salience of a given immigration issue is high, any harmonization that results is more likely to be restrictive toward immigrant rights. We also hypothesize that the impact of institutions that protect immigrant rights, and of political partisanship, is variable depending on the issue area and the national context. We use literature on European integration, immigration politics, agenda-setting, venue-shopping, and two-level games to theorize, operationalize, and test these hypotheses. The article helps to advance scholarly work on immigration politics, but our model could also conceivably be applied to other high-salience policy areas in the EU.
DOI: 10.1111/j.0190-292X.2004.00057.x
Adam Luedtke. 2005. "European Integration, Public Opinion and Immigration Policy: Testing the Impact of National Identity." European Union Politics 6: 83-112.
Abstract: This article empirically investigates the effect of national identity on public opinion towards European Union (EU) control over immigration policy. The EU has recently gained some control over immigration policy, but has faced strong opposition from reluctant national politicians. This study argues that public opinion is an important factor in explaining such reluctance. I propose a hypothesis of national identity to explain public opinion, positing that those who identify with their nation-states (vis-à-vis Europe) are less likely to support EU control over immigration policy than are those who identify with ‘Europe’. Using logistic regression, this factor is shown to be stronger than support for European integration, opinions about immigrants themselves, and other variables such as economic calculation, political ideology, age and gender.
DOI: 10.1177/1465116505049609

Substantive Focus:
Law and Policy
Economic Policy
Governance PRIMARY
Defense and Security
International Relations SECONDARY
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY
Public Opinion