This year’s conference received more than 500 proposals. After a rigorous review, the Conference Committee (chaired by Peter Scholten of the Erasmus University Rotterdam) has accepted about 230 proposals for 128 sessions, including research panels, policy workshops, book workshops and a number of working sessions for IMISCOE’s research clusters and standing committees.

You can download the overall program overview (PDF), the IMISCOE program booklet (PDF, 17MB), an overview of the topics within the program of sessions (PDF) and the list of participants (Excel). Besides the 2 plenaries (at Wednesday 28th and Friday 30th) and the conference sessions, the conference will also host 4 semi-plenaries. These semi-plenaries will be held on Thursday June 29th.

Expected keynote speakers

On Wednesday, Steven Vertovec will be keynote speaker followed by the Maria Baganha Award Ceremony. Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam, will be the final speaker (scheduled approximately: 17:55 pm).
(Location: Erasmus Building - AULA – A-building)

Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb

Steven Vertovec is Director of the MaxPlanck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen and Honorary Joint Professor of Sociology and Ethnology, University of Göttingen.

Keynote speaker Steven Vertovec, 28 June 2017, scheduled approx. 5.00 pm

Steven Vertovec – keynote lecture:

“Understanding urban diversity, or what’s the matter with Rotterdam?”

Following a brief discussion of various ways ‘urban diversity’ has been conceived and discussed in assorted social science literatures, I will focus on some key questions concerning the relations between urban space(s), difference, ‘contact’ and social attitudes. This will include a look at places where high levels of ‘diversity’ have not produced the modes of cosmopolitanism that many have come to expect. In so doing, I will also address social effects of diversification processes themselves.

Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University (

Keynote speaker Saskia Sassen, 30 June 2017, scheduled approx. 4:00 pm

Saskia Sassen – keynote lecture:

“A Massive Loss of Habitat: New Drivers for Migration”

The paper examines three emergent migration flows, each with specific features that can be described as extreme. Two are familiar and have generated recognized subjects: the immigrant and the refugee. I focus on a third emergent subject: a refugee of a massive loss of habitat, largely due to particular forms of economic development that cause environmental destruction. The effort organizing the paper is to understand conditions at places of origin that lead people to risk their lives in dangerous trips to escape those places of origin. As is by now known, these migrants are not the poorest of the poor in their places of origins. The rapid surge in these flows combined with the conditions they leave behind raise a question that organizes much of the analysis: are the categories we use to understand and describe migrations—that is, the notion of people in search of a better life, who leave behind a family and home that they want to support from afar and possibly return to–enough to capture the specificity of these emergent flows? My answer is: not quite.