Our central publications are two sourcebooks that document Germany’s transition into a multiethnic society – from the arrival of the first guest workers in the mid-1950s to recent reforms in citizenship and immigration law. Structured as a history in documents, both collections clearly demonstrate that migration has been a European project with global implications from the 1950s on, notwithstanding the nationalist preoccupations of current debates on integration of migrant populations in Germany and other countries.



Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955-2005 was the first sourcebook in any language to document Germany’s transformation into a multiethnic and multicultural society. The book, published in 2007 by the University of California Press, charts the contentious debates about migrant labor and changing communities in a globalizing economy that have unfolded in Germany over the past fifty years – debates that resonate far beyond the country’s borders. Drawing on key moments from literature, popular and culture, and everyday life, our emphasis has been on articulations of cultural identity in its interplay with institutional frameworks. Divided into eleven thematic chapters, Germany in Transit includes 200 original texts in English translation, as well as a historical introduction, chronology, bibliography, and filmography. Buy the paperback or e-book at University of California Press or amazon.


Transit Deutschland: Debatten zu Nation und Migration is a significantly revised and expanded edition of Germany in Transit, published in German by Konstanz University Press in March 2011.

“Nicht nur Migranten befinden sich in transit, sondern Deutschland selbst.”

The German sourcebook presents a new introduction and close to 300 documents, including texts by Fatih Akın, Klaus Bade, Ulrich Beck, Maxim Biller, Hartmut Böhme, Henryk M. Broder, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Günter Grass, Jürgen Habermas, Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Elfriede Jelinek, Barbara John, Wladimir Kaminer, Necla Kelek, Helmut Kohl, Udo Lindenberg, Monika Maron, Angela Merkel, Franz Müntefering, Armin Nassehi, Michael Naumann, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Cem Özdemir, Orhan Pamuk, Wolfgang Schäuble, Alice Schwarzer, Zafer Şenocak, Theo Sommer, Thomas Steinfeld, Yoko Tawada, Mark Terkessidis, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Sigrid Weigel, Feridun Zaimoğlu, and many others.

Buy the paperback at Konstanz University Press or amazon.


Reviews of the Sourcebooks

“A pathbreaking book about postwar Germany on its way to Europe and the modern world… precisely researched and creatively organized. This is indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to take part in the conversation about cultural diversity. It is perhaps telling that no such book has yet been published in Germany: the perspective from abroad opens new horizons.” (Zafer Şenocak, author of Atlas of a Tropical Germany: Essays on Politics and Culture, 1990-1998)

“The book is first-rate: historically accurate, thickly textured, and methodologically cutting-edge. Even experts in migration studies an German studies will be inspired by the astonishing range of materials gathered in this important yet readily accessible book.” (Leslie A. Adelson, author of The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature: Toward a New Critical Grammar of Migration)

Transit Deutschland “bietet eine umfang- und abwechslungsreiche Fundgrube an Quellen zur deutschen Migrationsgeschichte seit 1955, die sich zur Verwendung in der schulischen und universitären Lehre ebenso eignet wie zum individuellen „Schmökern“ und eine Vielzahl von Gedanken- und Diskussionsanstößen bereit hält” (Marcel Berlinghoff, rezensiert für H-Soz-u-Kult)