ECPR General Conference
University of Wrocław, Wrocław
4 - 7 September 2019

International Migration from a Comparative Perspective: Policies, Practices, and Outcomes

Policy Analysis
Comparative Perspective
Section Number
Section Chair
Daniela Vintila
Université de Liège
Section Co-Chair
Gerasimos Tsourapas
University of Birmingham


Dr Daniela Vintila is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (University of Liege). Her research focuses on citizenship, immigrant integration, and political engagement. She is co-convenor of the ECPR SG Migration and Ethnicity, co-director of the IMISCOE SC Migration, Citizenship and Political Participation, and vice-chair of IPSA RC03 European Unification.

Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas is a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on the politics of migrants, refugees, and diasporas in the Middle East. He is coordinating three projects: “The International Politics of Middle East Migration: Problems, Policy, Practice”; “The Politics of Forced Migration in the Mediterranean: Interstate Bargaining and Issue-Linkage in Greece and Jordan”; and “Migration Diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean - Inter-State Politics of Population Mobility in the Middle East”.

Over the past years, the issue of international migration has been gaining ground not only in domestic politics, but also at the international level. The so-called “refugee crisis”, the increasing salience of immigrant integration in political and societal debates, or the growing interest in cross-border dynamics demonstrate that migration is a prominent topic across European democracies. This Section discusses migration policies, politics, practices and outcomes by paying particular attention to: a) the mechanisms through which mobility reaches the political agenda; b) the institutional responses aiming to tackle concerns over immigrant integration; c) interactions between home and host countries and; d) the consequences of these policies for migrants’ lives. Scholars contributing to this Section will explore issues related to multi-level politics in migration management, the humanitarian protection policy framework, the forms of transnational political engagement, changing public attitudes towards migrants and the politicization of migrants’ access to welfare.

Panel 1: Migration, Foreign Policy, and Diplomacy
Chair: Gerasimos Tsourapas (University of Birmingham)
This panel focuses on the diplomatic importance of voluntary and forced migration. It addresses questions around the importance of migrant groups as foreign policy actors, as well as the strategies of incorporating migration in states’ foreign policy agendas. The panel discusses the linkages between cross-border mobility and diplomacy, the rationale behind the use of migration as instrument of diplomacy, and the consequences of migratory processes for the practice of foreign policy.

Panel 2: Migration and Electoral Politics in Europe and Beyond
Chair: Daniela Vintila (University of Liege)
This panel discusses the evolution of policies and practices of immigrant political engagement over time and across countries. We focus on how and when migrants engage in politics and which specific institutional, societal, or individual factors condition their political involvement. We invite proposals examining migrants’ voting behavior in home/host country elections, non-electoral forms of political engagement, and patterns of minority representation in parliamentary assemblies.

Panel 3: Migration Policies of Origin States
Chair: Evelyn Ersanilli (University of Amsterdam)
This panel focuses on migration policies of origin states. State responses to migration are generally studied from a destination perspective, neglecting the activities of origin states policies that can take the form of labour brokerage, migration control, service provision and active lobbying of destination states to push for a change in working conditions. Presentations may address the motives of origin states for engaging in these kinds of policies, the evaluation of the policies, and factors determining origin states’ success in negotiation with destination states.

Panel 4: How to Measure Migration Policies? Bridging Different Methodological Approaches
Chair: Luicy Pedroza (GIGA Hamburg)
The academic scholarship has made significant efforts to analyze mobility via measurable indicators. Consequently, scholars have proposed different indexes allowing for a better evaluation of integration policies, enfranchisement policies, nationality laws, etc. Yet, the exchange of good methodological practices on how to systematically approach international migration can still be improved. This panel brings together scholars working in comparative projects that measure different facets of migration.

Panel 5: International Mobility and Welfare
Chairs: Angeliki Konstantinidou (SciencesPo Paris) and Roberta Perna (International and European Forum on Migration Research)
Social protection policies are the safety net of individuals against poverty and social exclusion. International mobility has put welfare at the forefront of policy making. The EU social security coordination has received different institutional responses from actors increasingly concerned about migrants’ access to social benefits. This panel aims to comparatively analyze the (re)actions of key institutional actors in home and host countries towards the social protection of mobile individuals.

Panel 6: From global problems to local solutions: multidisciplinary perspectives on the “refugee crisis”
Chairs: Amanda Da Silva (University of Liege) and Juan Pablo Aris Escarcena (University of Seville)
The so-called “refugee crisis” has received different reactions from local authorities and civil society actors aiming to solve a “global problem”. Some cities became part of migration routes- Ceuta, Melilla, Eidomeni, Calais or Ventimiglia. Migrants living in these cities show an agency capacity while also responding to structural constraints. This panel discusses the role of institutions, migrants, and solidarity networks in migration management across small cities at the border between states.

Panel 7: International Migration Governance
Chair: Filippo Dionigi (University of Bristol)
The United Nations Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular migration was signed in December 2018. Together with the Compact on Refugees, it is the first document on migration governance with a large international backing since the Geneva Convention on Refugees. This development comes shortly after IOM became a full member of the United Nations family. This panel explores the origins and implications of recent developments in migration governance, including the Compacts and activities of Regional Consultative Processes on migrations.

Panel 8: Public attitudes and forms of mobilization concerning asylum seekers and refugees
Chairs: Alessandro Mazzola (University of Liege) and Andrea Rea (Université libre de Bruxelles)
This panel discusses the factors and social dynamics influencing attitudes polarization towards refugees and asylum seekers. We explore contextual forms of mobilization by local populations in favor/against newcomers in areas of reception centres and informal concentrations of asylum seekers. The panel brings together papers focusing on quantitative and qualitative analyses of attitude polarization in Europe and social media discourse analysis.

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