Understanding The Immigrant Conflict in Europe

In order to understand the immigrant conflict in Europe, one has to understand the nature of resources. All resources are limited in supply and the distribution of these resources (especially natural resources) is uneven across states and countries. Most countries are aware of their resources and thus govern themselves to get maximum utility out of these resources. However, migration poses a problem as more people become dependent on the same limited resources. The competition increases while the resources don’t. In the end, one side doesn’t get their needs fulfilled, which inevitably leads to conflict.

Migration isn’t new. Humans traveled from one place to another in search of better resources, opportunities, and to have an overall higher standard of living. The same principle can be applied to people’s mindset today. People from all walks of life migrate to a prosperous country in order to live a better life. Countries in Europe, in particular, see more migration than in other countries because of two things. The first reason is its geographical location. Europe sits basically in the middle of the world. More precisely, it is surrounded by many poor third-world countries. And the second reason is the social unrest surrounding the continent. The rise of terrorism, an increasing number of wars, and a lack of resources to live a normal life has forced millions of people to flee their country and seek refuge in Europe.

More immigrant means more pressure on limited resources, and this pressure almost always leads to conflict. Sometimes these conflicts can morph into large-scale strikes and riots which will have a detrimental effect on the productivity of the country. Not to mention, it can lead to some very negative mindsets of people. Therefore, it is crucial for policymakers to take action to accommodate these immigrants into society and prevent any conflict.

But before the government can enforce any new regulation, it is important for them to understand that there is no way one remedy will work in every case. Immigration is a complex topic and almost every state is a slightly different scenario. For instance, conflicts are not proportional to the number of immigrants. Despite the states having the same number of immigrants, one state might see a higher number of conflicts than the other. This can be because of a number of reasons. Rafaela M. Dancygier in the book “Immigration and Conflict in Europe” explains the cause of conflicts by two theories. First is the immigrant-native theory which states that conflicts are caused by the competition between natives and immigrants over scare resources. Depending on who allocates these resources (the government or the market ), there can be more or fewer conflicts. The other theory is the immigrant-state theory according to which, immigrants can demonstrate anti-state behavior in a bid to gain political power which can be leveraged to have their needs met.

Once policymakers can understand the core reasons behind the conflicts in their state, they can start to develop strategies to prevent conflicts. For instance, the government may find out that there is a housing crisis going on which is driving up the rents and making life difficult for everyone or that there is a lack of labor in certain industries. The government can take remedial action in the form of building more houses and helping immigrants secure jobs in those specific industries. 

The truth is that an increasing number of people will be making their way into the European continent and how well the policymakers are able to understand factors such as political power wielded by immigrants, racial views of the natives, and present economic conditions will determine the whether or not these conflicts continue. 

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