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Refugees, Belonging and Society
Mon 12 December 2016, 17:00 – 19:00 GMT
Academy of Social Sciences Refugee Issues Study Group: Inaugural Event with The Centre for Narrative Research, UEL and The Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, UEL
A panel discussion on contemporary issues around refugees in the UK and European contexts, open to AcSS Fellows and to the wider public.
Heaven Crawley, FAcSS (Coventry University): Unravelling the Mediterranean migration crisis, and building positive narratives about migration and diversity
Jenny Phillimore, FAcSS (Birmingham University) Integration in times of crisis
Nando Sigona (Birmingham University) : The EU's 'refugee crisis' and the production of illegality and vulnerability among migrants and refugees
Nira Yuval-Davis, FAcSS (University of East London): The refugees crisis,’everyday bordering’ and autochthonic politics of belonging
Discussant: Avtar Brah, FAcSS (Birkbeck College)
Chair: Corinne Squire, FAcSS (University of East London)
Following the event there will be an Inaugural meeting of the Academy of Social Sciences Study Group on Refugee Issues from 7 - 8pm.
Heaven Crawley: Unravelling the Mediterranean migration crisis, and building positive narratives about migration and diversity
Jenny Phillimore: Integration in times of crisis
The arrival of over 1 million refugees in Europe in 2015 has been described as a crisis by politicians, the media and policymakers. Responses to the crisis have been largely reactive with focus upon short-term goals such as reducing numbers and redistribution. Discourse about the challenges and opportunities represented by the arrival of refugees range from concerns about the loss of Europe’s cultural identity and risks to security through to refugees being viewed as a labour force that will aid economic growth threatened by aging societies. The extent to which opportunities can be realised depends upon the nature of integration policy and practice across Europe. Yet at the current time the EU does not have a common integration policy and many countries lack an integration programme. In this paper I use data taken from interviews with refugees to argue that integration is only effective if it’s genuinely bi-directional. I contend that co-ordinated and intensive approaches to integration adopting a two-way approach are key to turning the crisis into an opportunity and that integration must begin at the moment of arrival to Europe.
Nando Sigona: The EU's 'refugee crisis' and the production of illegality and vulnerability among migrants and refugees
Drawing on two ESRC-funded studies on the Mediterranean migration crisis (MEDMIG) and the transitions to adulthood of unaccompanied minors (Becoming Adult), the paper will explore the nexus between policy responses to the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ in the EU and the production of illegalized and precarious subjects. It addresses the ‘crisis’ as agonistic terrain where competing political agendas are articulated and highlights how they impact on boat migrants who crossed the Mediterranean irregularly to reach the EU’s southern shores. It explores in particular the position of migrant/refugee children and the issues surrounding their visibility and invisibility of segments of this population and its implications in terms of policy responses and migrant experiences.
Nira Yuval-Davis: 'The refugees crisis,’everyday bordering’ and autochthonic politics of belonging
Attitudes in the UK and beyond to the 'refugees crisis' and migrants in general need to be analysed in the context of top-down government's policies and bottom-up populist political projects. I argue that both need to be seen as responses to a neo-liberal double crisis of governability and governmentality, that also caused 'Brexit' and the election of Donald Trump as the president of the USA.