CfP: Workshop on refugee accommodation scales at the International Metropolis Conference 2017


Asylum-Seeker Accommodation in Europe: Considering Scales of Policy and Practice

Organizers: Steven Vertovec, Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen & Jeroen Doomernik, University of Amsterdam

Since the Autumn of 2015, Europe has received over one million asylum-seekers from a variety of origins. Subsequently, receiving societies and states have engaged in numerous tasks of asylum-seeker accommodation (providing housing and sustenance, financial support, healthcare, legal services, and language training). The large-scale and relatively rapid creation of institutional arrangements for substantial numbers of asylum-seekers has necessarily entailed complex organizational measures, requiring a range of actors, perspectives, strategies, and resources at various levels and scales.

While broad decisions regarding asylum-seeker accommodation have been made on European and national levels, it has been on the local level that asylum-seeker accommodation has been implemented and engaged. Accommodation measures and practices have been developed and undertaken by, among others, municipal departments, churches, mosques and welfare organizations, schools and universities, sports clubs and volunteer groups.

Increasingly, social scientists have observed local institutional dynamics, public reactions and experiences of asylum-seekers. The specificity of contexts is clear: in order to understand and assess the accommodation of asylum-seekers, there is much to take into account about the local socio-cultural, historical, demographic and political contexts in which is occurs. How, while bearing in mind local contexts of asylum-seeker accommodation, can we also gain insights into comparative and large scale processes and outcomes? In light of European and national policies, how much innovative and alternative practice has been possible in local contexts? Can lessons from local experiences be scaled-up? And how, in understanding local, national, and European scales, can we keep asylum-seekers’ own perceptions, needs and aspirations in sight?

In addition to facilitating public debate on pressing issues, the aim of the workshop will be to compile and refine a special issue of a top ranking academic journal.

Chairs: Steven Vertovec and Jeroen Doomernik Respondent Panellists:

Ümit Kiziltan (Director General, Research and Evaluation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Prof. Dan Hiebert (University of British Columbia)

Please send your proposals for presenting a paper in this workshop, as well as any questions, to Prof. Vertovec’s secretary, Jutta Esser (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Deadline 30 June 2017. Six selected contributors will be informed in the 1st  week of July (in order to allow early conference registration).

Please note: after successful selection, registration, conference fees, transport and accommodation will be the responsibility of the individual contributors. For more details, fees and practical information on the Metropolis conference, please see:

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