Cities, Networks and the Governance of Migrations: An International and Multidisciplinary Perspective

To ensure that this diversity represents a richness, we need to create a dialogue between disciplines, methods, and theoretical frameworks and between European, North American, and Global South scholars.

Project summary

Principal Investigator
Aude-Claire Fourot
Simon Fraser University, Canada

Anouk Flamant
INSHEA, France

Aisling Healy
Jean Monnet, France

Scholars have now well-documented how discourses and practices have shifted upwards to supranational and intergovernmental venues, downwards to local governments, and outwards to societal actors such as civil society actors (Guiraudon and Lahav 2000). What was still scarce literature ten years ago is now a burgeoning subfield (Dekker et al. 2015; Fourot 2015). The increased interest in the local aspect of migration policy-making has been observed notably in Europe, North America as well as in the Global South. The "local turn" of migration policies has even been more pronounced since the political crisis of 2015, notably caused by the non-respect of the 1951 Geneva convention on refugees.

Its accompanying camps, emergency shelters, and buildings occupation have put cities across the world under the microscope. In this context, the literature on the local turn on migration is far from being unified.

Along with our partner Plan urbanisme construction architecture (PUCA), we are organizing a conference in Paris (June 2021) that aims to take stock of the research on the local turn and the reception of exiles in cities by focusing on the roles of networks and multi-level governance arrangements. By looking at the supranational, national, and local levels of governance in Europe, North America, and the Global South, this conference will provide a comprehensive picture of why, how, and with which results cities are dealing with the challenges and the opportunities created by current migration flows.

More specifically, we expect:

  1. To establish a dialogue and foster a network of scholars working on the role of cities and local actors in the current governance regime of migration in Europe, North America, and the Global South with different disciplinary perspectives, theoretical and methodological approaches;
  2. To publish an edited volume consisting of revised papers stemming from the conference that showcases the most salient migration issues for cities across the world and discusses the potential for comparative, multi-and interdisciplinary research
  3. To complement the analysis of migration policies by a discussion with civil society actors, practitioners and elected officials engaged in the governance of migration policies to reflect on alternative or innovative responses to migration challenges in cities, as well as to engage with the general public.