Governing Ethno-Racial Inequalities in Europe: Colour-blind versus Colour-conscious Policy Frames in Belgium and Germany

Over the last fifty years, the citizenry of West-European countries has increasingly diversified. However, much of the literature in the field continues to focus on integration policies for newly arriving migrants, as opposed to equality and anti-discrimination policies targeted at citizens with a migration background. This PhD project explores how European countries respond to persisting inequalities faced by citizens of migrant origin by studying policy frames regarding ethno-racial inequalities in Belgian and German education and employment policy. By means of a critical frame analysis of policy documents and interviews, the first part of the research analyses the different framings of ethno-racial (in)equality as a policy problem in the cases under analysis. Drawing on critical race theory, it develops an analytical framework that distinguishes between colour-blind and colour-conscious policy frames on the one hand, and redistributive and non-redistributive policy frames on the other hand. The second part of the research adopts a comparative analysis. Through within and between case comparison, it aims to provide possible explanations for dominant policy frames and the differences and similarities in these frames between the different countries, regions and policy fields. In this way, the project can yield new insights in how ethno-racial inequalities in education and employment are conceived and framed in public policy and how trends and variation in these policy frames might be explained.