• Concha Maiztegui (DEUSTO)
  • Sonia Pereiro (DEUSTO)
  • Pedro J. Oiarzabal (DEUSTO)
  • Aitor Ibarrola (DEUSTO)
  • Juan Iglesias (COMILLAS)


From 2011 the University of Deusto and the University of Comillas have been involved in several projects related to social organisations and migrants’ integration processes, particularly social and labour integration and identity and cultural integration. The relevance of migrants associations and other social organisations in different dimensions of integration processes (social, labour, cultural, transnational activities, among others) has been highlighted by different institutions and authors as well as supported by different funding schemes (local, national and international). However, in the new economic context following the international financial crisis of 2008, both migrants and civil society organisations are facing new challenges and (potentially) adopting new strategies, both in response to migrants’ changing circumstances and to new political and institutional frameworks (namely in terms of reduced financial support granted to such organizations or cuts in social support more generally).

We seek to address questions pertaining to the role of social organisations for migrants’ integration processes, particularly at times of crises, such as:

  • Which ideas, visions and practices of social organisations are representing migrants’ own needs and perspectives?
  • How are those organisations negotiating their position vis a vis migrants and funding institutions and policymakers?
  • What relationships exist among the different organisations: migrants’ associations, other community-based organisations, trade unions, religious organisations or other civil society organisations?
  • How are these different actors facing the current economic crisis?
  • Which strategies are being developed both in relation to host countries and to countries of origin?
  • How are we researching migration through associations and other social organisations that mediate the contact of the researcher with migrants and with the migrants’ experiences?
  • What are the implications of different kinds of methodological approaches? 



Agenda of activities

1) Organise a joint publication (special issue in a scientific journal) coordinated by researchers in three universities: Deusto, Comillas and Fordham University, which will draw on work already presented at previous IMISCOE workshops; the topic of the special issue is: Migrant Organizations in Europe and the United States: Towards a Comparative Approach;

2) Organize two sessions (one book workshop and one Research Group meeting) at the annual conference in Madrid - Immigration, Social Cohesion and Social Innovation; the book workshop will focus on the theme of the special issue - Migrant Organizations in Europe and the United States: Towards a Comparative Approach – and intends to discuss the papers for the ongoing proposal for an edited volume that will provide new and critical insights into how processes of economic and demographic change such as those experienced at present affect the organisation and viability of immigrant associations. The Research Group internal meeting intends to debate methodological issues within research involving or being carried out with the collaboration of social organisations, with the theme: “Researching with and through migrants’ associations and relevant social organisations: a methodological reflection”;

3) Facilitate further collaborations with interested IMISCOE members through the internal meeting at the annual conference to discuss further joint projects. 


  •  Workshop: “Social organizations as a context for exploring migrant youth social and labour integration”(Bilbao, September 2012)
  • Workshop: “Migraciones y asociacionismo en tiempos de crisis” (“Migrations and Associationism in a Time of Crisis”) (Bilbao, April 2013).
  • One special issue (work in progress): Migrant Organizations in Europe and the United States: Towards a Comparative Approach
  • Two meetings at the annual IMISCOE conference in 2014: 1. Book workshop: to present and discuss the papers for the special issue and 2. Research Group meeting to discuss methodological approaches to the study of migration in collaboration with social organisations