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Phil’s research focuses on how immigration and citizenship policies reflect and reconfigure boundaries of national belonging in liberal-democratic states. In Becoming Multicultural: Immigration and the Politics of Membership in Canada and Germany (University of British Columbia Press, 2012), he explores the liberalization of immigration and citizenship policies (and consequent expansion of membership boundaries) in Canada and Germany, paying particular attention to the interplay of shifting global norms and domestic politics.
He is also involved in a collaborative research project with Professor Anna Korteweg (Department of Sociology, University of Toronto), comparing the integration of Muslim immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands. Their work explores both how integration is defined by political actors and how debates over the reconciliation of contending rights, such as religious freedom and gender equality, shape the politics of immigration, integration and citizenship policy.
He is currently developing two new research projects. The first compares the institutional accommodation of Muslim immigrants in Canada and Germany. Here, he is particularly interested in how public schools, courts, and other core institutions respond to requests for accommodation by Muslims and other religious minorities. The second project, being undertaken in collaboration with Christopher Cochrane, Inder Marwah, Zack Taylor, and Steven White (and with the assistance of UTSC alumnus Salman Dostmohammed), explains the causes and results of the Conservative Party of Canada’s “ethnic outreach” strategy. The researchers intend to extend their analysis to consider the strategies of other centre-right parties vis-à-vis immigrant and ethnic minority voters.