Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2013


As Ireland and Spain transformed into immigration countries in the early 2000s, they attracted comparatively large immigrant populations, especially to their largest cities. Nonetheless, the immigrant communities in Dublin and Madrid differ significantly in their composition, the reaction they have elicited from the host society, and their ability to incorporate in their new environment. This paper explores the factors that influence immigrant reception and integration in new immigration spaces like Dublin and Madrid. While acknowledging the significance of social networks, economic interest, and party politics, it instead focuses on the identity characteristics, both those of the newcomers and their host societies, in determining the exclusion and inclusion that different ethnic communities face. Further, the article examines how the host society’s inclusion-exclusion dynamics interact with the immigrants’ own perceptions of belonging or isolation to produce certain political, economic, and social integration outcomes. The argument is explored for Poles and Nigerians in Dublin and Bulgarians and Ecuadorians in Madrid.