Peter van der Veer, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen
Migration studies generally assume that refugees and other migrants are ethnic outsiders who have to be integrated (or assimilated)
into a stable host society. The German case does not fit that assumption. A fifth of the German population in the 1950s were refugees
from Eastern Europe, while many others were migrants who had left their destroyed homes and cities. The refugees from Eastern Europe
were received differently in the BRD and the DDR. Moreover, until quite recently there was substantial migration from the former DDR
to the BRD. This lecture problematizes the assertion by politicians that Germany is not a country of migrants. It further compares
the reception of South and North Vietnamese migrants in the BRD and the DDR. In doing so, it reflects on the value of comparison.
Peter van der Veer
is Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen and Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University.
He has published widely on religion and nationalism in Europe and Asia. Most recently, he has published on the value of comparative work in the social sciences.
He is currently writing a monograph comparing North and South Vietnamese in East and West Germany.
van der Veer, Peter, 1988. Gods on Earth: The Management of Religious Experience and Identity in a North Indian Pilgrimage Centre.
London: Athlone Press (London School of Economics Monographs on Social Anthropology, 60).
van der Veer, Peter, 1994. Religious Nationalism. Hindus and Muslims in South Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press.
van der Veer, Peter, 2001. Imperial Encounters: Religion, Nation, and Empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
van der Veer, Peter, 2013. The Modern Spirit of Asia: The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
van der Veer, Peter, ed. 2015. Handbook of Religion and the Asian City: Aspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.
van der Veer, Peter. 2016. The Value of Comparison.Durham: Duke University Press.