Section endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Migration and Ethnicity
In a context of increasing intensification and diversification of migration processes worldwide, the topics of migration governance and migrants’ integration have become key areas of concern across home and host countries. In Europe in particular, the recent economic crisis and the arrivals of asylum seekers around 2015 have further contributed to the salience of migration in political, societal and academic debates. This poses significant challenges for the complex network of actors (policymakers, civil society organizations, migrant groups, etc.) involved in different roles in migration governance. It also creates windows of opportunities for improving the current framework of immigrant integration policies. This Section provides a critical reflection on such challenges and opportunities by focusing on social and political responses to migration and their consequences for migrants’ lives.
Panel 1: The migration-welfare nexus in European welfare states: actors, frames and positions
Chairs: Eloisa Harris (University of Bremen), Stefan Wallaschek (University of Hildesheim)
Migration affects the welfare state and the welfare state influences migration flows. Scholars argue that populist radical right parties increasingly engage in welfare debates through promulgating exclusive welfare for natives. Moreover, trade unions, employers’ associations or religious actors are important interest groups who can mobilize the public with their strategic claims. This Panel examines how these actors frame the migration-welfare-nexus in public debates, plenary sessions or public sub-arenas.
Panel 2: Common values and civic integration for asylum seekers and refugees: towards a new integrated European society?
Chairs: Roberta Medda-Windischer (Eurac Research), Andrea Carlà (Eurac Research)
Tensions followed by the 'refugees crisis' and the lack of solidarity among EU Member States have drawn attention on the issue of common values among EU citizens, 'new citizens' and Member States. Civic integration policies have become fashionable in many countries. Classes and training in which migrants learn the host country’s language and values are portrayed as an integration tool, while being criticized as unidirectional and disciplinary. This Panel addresses questions such as: Are common values really common? Do they represent a common ground for a new vision of an integrated Europe that fosters awareness of EU values? Do EU values shape immigrant policies while overcoming the problematic of civic integration programs?
Panel 3: New dynamics of immigrants’ engagement in host country politics
Chairs: Daniela Vintila (University of Liege)
Immigrants’ engagement in host country politics is a multidimensional phenomenon that has noticeably intensified and diversified over time as a combined effect of increasing demands for participation and changing states policies that opened new venues for minority empowerment. While much of the literature has focused on migrants’ participation in the electoral arena, scholars also highlighted the increasing relevance of non-electoral modes of engagement (protests, demonstrations, social media mobilization, etc.). This Panel explores these new dynamics and channels of immigrants’ political mobilization from a comparative perspective.
Panel 4: International migration, minority protection, and de-securitization
Chairs: Andrea Carlà (Eurac Research)
This Panel examines the concept of de-securitization, thus being situated at the intersection between migration studies, minority protection and security studies. Whereas scholars have investigated the process through which migrant and minority communities are securitized, de-securitization has been mostly debated on the theoretical level and less is known on how such process unfolds in practice. The Panel explores practices of de-securitization vis-à-vis both communities stemming from recent migratory flows and national/ethnic minorities.
Panel 5: Migration and transnational social protection
Chairs: Roberta Perna (UAM-CSIC), Angeliki Konstantinidou (SciencesPo Paris)
Since the 2004 EU enlargement, migrants’ access to welfare has become increasingly politicized, leading to the emergence of new dynamics through which mobile individuals plan their social protection strategies. For instance, both migrants and civil society actors have shifted their focus to alternative schemes to safeguard and access social protection. Sending countries’ role as welfare providers has also (re)emerged, thus structuring transnational networks of social protection. So far, the topic of how homeland welfare systems respond to social protection policy-making in host countries has received little attention. This Panel addresses these questions from a comparative perspective.
Panel 6: Diaspora mobilization and homeland politics
Chairs: Sebastián Umpierrez (Universidad Diego Portales), Sorina Soare (University of Florence)
During the last decades, political participation, consultation and representation have extended into the transnational realm to establish a nexus between diaspora and sending states. Scholars have examined emigrants’ electoral and non-electoral strategies to influence homeland politics, while also emphasizing parties' transnational role within a new arena of citizenship. Ranging from parties’ responsiveness to diaspora demands, to connections between migrant associations and external voting, this Panel explores diaspora' political engagement at both individual and aggregate levels.
Panel 7: Migration, cultural diversity, and politics
Chair: Marco Martiniello (University of Liege)
In a context of increasing mobility worldwide, cultural diversity has gained significant visibility in migration-related policy-making. Such salience is often triggered by rising societal demands for cultural recognition, policy-makers’ concerns on how to foster intercultural dialogue in diverse host societies, and/or sending states’ diaspora engagement cultural initiatives that use the revival of national cultural heritage abroad as a way to keep ties with non-residents. In this configuration, culture (broadly defined to include arts, food, sports, etc.) became a key element of politics of recognition. This Panel explores the interplay between migration and culture in a context in which cultural expressions stand out as an increasingly used instrument for expressing belonging, protesting, and demanding rights or changes in migration management.
Panel 8: Public opinion towards migration
Chair: Gianna Maria Eick (University of Kent)
European democracies are witnessing an increasing polarization of public attitudes towards migration. While existing data shows rising skepticism in people’s views towards migrants, assessing which factors account for such perceptions is a rather complex task. Yet, the level of societal support/opposition to migration still shapes both immigrant integration practices and migration policy-making. This Panel examines recent changes in public attitudes towards migration from a comparative perspective.