Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
JS_RN35_RN37_10: Cities in times of migration "crises"
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Rui F. Carvalho, Brown University
Location: BS.3.23
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Nordic Ties and London Lives: Urban Belonging, Transnational Networks and Mobility Intentions of Nordic Migrants under the Brexit Uncertainty

Saara Koikkalainen

University of Helsinki, Finland

As a multicultural hub of finance, art, design and science, London has long attracted migrants interested in the study and career opportunities the city has to offer. During the past decades, it has been an important destination also for intra-European migrants originating from the Nordic countries. Thanks to the Brexit process, these rather privileged migrants have been forced to question their inclusion in the British society and the global city of London, and consider futures that may involve either staying in the UK, return migrating or moving elsewhere. In a few years, London has thus transformed from a key destination of mobile Europeans and of those on global careers, to a space of uncertainty. The situation is a natural experiment on how a reversal of free movement rights affects the dynamics of European migration regimes, how migrant careers are managed under changing conditions and how the re-emergence of national borders within borderless Europe influences the ways in which mobility is imagined and executed. Based on online survey (n=163) and interview data gathered during 2018-9, this presentation focuses on Nordic migrants currently living in London. It examines how these migrants see their position on the social hierarchy of the city and its job market, express feelings of belonging to this urban space and maintain both local and transnational networks back to their countries of origin.

Cities and Critical Democratic Experiences:Welcoming Solidarities with Refugees in the UK Cities

Nese Oztimur

Soas, University of London, United Kingdom,

The framework of this paper encompasses background of migration studies, critical urban studies, political theory, and decolonial epistemic perspective. The primary purpose is to generate and discuss the questions about the possible contribution of the recent refugees to the development of critical democratic restructuration of the European cities.

The outcomes of the ethnographic study (20 case studies) which focused on the comparison of the ‘ART’ based activities of the different charities, solo artists, galleries, collectives or aid organizations to ‘help’, ‘welcome’ or ‘care’ of the refugees in London, Bristol, and Cambridge constitutes the research basis for the examination of the paper’s questions:

Can the appearance of civic engagement –welcoming, helping and caring for the refugees- in European cities cultivate the enlarging of the new forms of politics and urban solidarity relationships and so radical democratic urban space imaginations? This leading question has a connection with the other questions which are related to the construction of the epistemic relationship between the refugees and welcoming groups: How the relationship between the welcome groups/aid organizations and refugees are constructed? In what ways these groups, organizations, and charities are different from each other regarding their aims, activity contents and relationships with refugees? How is this relationship being re-created, transformed or deconstructed within the everyday encounter, interaction and co-performance of them within the cities? Might these co-performance and solidarity relationships have a potential to contribute to the reshaping of the urban space as a locus of radical democratic struggles?

City, Migration and the Challenges of Urban Cultural Policies: the Example of the “International Cities of Refuge Network” (ICORN)

Andrea Glauser

University of Lucerne, Switzerland

This contribution explores the conditions of the “International Cities of Refuge Network” (ICORN) as an example of municipal approaches to migration and human rights. In recent years, numerous cities have developed strategies to counter the tightening of border controls and mobility regimes by nation states in Europe and the USA. For example, with the founding of Sanctuary Cities and the launch of the Palermo Charter for Global Freedom of Movement and Establishment, local governments and organizations have been aiming to achieve more inclusive migration policies. These municipal approaches to migration are associated with diverse challenges and sometimes contradictions. This has primarily to do with the fact that cities in a national context often do not have the last word – in legal terms – on residence permits and citizenship. Such tensions are not least noticeable in the context of urban cultural policies, as this contribution shows based on the example of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). ICORN aims to protect freedom of expression by offering residencies to writers, artists and musicians who are at risk in their country of origin as a direct result of their work. Based on interviews with parties involved, this contribution explores why the participation of cities in Europe in this network varies so widely from country to country and what kinds of challenges these attempts to offer refuge and to protect freedom of expression faces.

Mixed Communal Living and Individualized Support As Catalysts Of Refugees’ Social and Structural Integration? The Case of CURANT (Cohousing And Case Management For Unaccompanied Young Adult Refugees in ANTwerp)

Laura Van Raemdonck, Rilke Mahieu

University of Antwerp, Belgium

In various European cities, urban authorities and local stakeholders are exploring ways to tackle challenges arising from recent refugee flows. A central concern is the integration of refugees within local communities and economies. We focus on one of the most vulnerable refugee groups: unaccompanied young refugees. While the particular needs of this group have been studied, a research gap exist with regard to the policy programmes in place for unaccompanied refugee youth. By outlining the findings of a longitudinal study on the 3-year support and housing project CURANT (Cohousing and case management for Unaccompanied young adult Refugees in Antwerp), we aim to bridge this research gap. This project covers a holistic social policy intervention for young unaccompanied refugees aged 17-21. On the one hand, it contains intensive individualized supervision, including various types of support, training and therapy. On the other hand, it comprises cohabitation with a local flat mate (“buddies”, aged 20-30) in various housing units during a period of at least one year. The program’s overall aim is to support the social and structural integration of young refugees. The analysis draws on a mixed method methodology including interviews, surveys and secondary data collected with the project’s main stakeholders (unaccompanied young adult refugees, the cohabiting buddies, and social organizations involved in this project) and observations of the program’s activities. In our analysis, we asses the merits and pitfalls of mixed communal living and individualized professional support as tools to facilitate young refugees’ integration.