Conference Programme available: Conference Programme v29 August
Registered delegates only – registration has now closed.
Since its beginning in 2008, Europe’s economic crisis has had a profound impact on societies across Europe and beyond its borders, with significant implications for migration and integration. In October 2010 Angela Merkel announced that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany had ‘utterly failed’. In February 2011 David Cameron declared that state multiculturalism in Britain had failed.
This international conference will explore the multiple ways in which contemporary economic, social and political crises in Europe (and globally) intersect with new and old patterns of migration-related mobility. The role of transnational migration in constructing identities, in cultural representations and the re-drawing of centre and margin in Europe will be central themes. Mobility and immobility provide a valuable lens through which to explore some of the ways in which inequalities and borders are produced, reproduced, experienced and re-created in European and global contexts. Diverse forms of spatial mobility such as short-term and circular migrations, returns and re-migrations, transnational family arrangements and long-distance commuting have become important livelihood strategies for people within and outside Europe in dealing with current economic and political realities. States respond to mobility and crisis through deepening and diversifying mechanisms of regulation and social control of mobility and of migrants. Non-state actors and institutions, such as religious organisations, play an increasingly important role in mediating the migration context. These processes give rise to ongoing questions surrounding contested concepts such as identity, integration, diversity, human rights and equality as they relate to migrants, non-migrants and diasporas. They also provide methodological challenges to researchers seeking to make sense of rapidly changing social, demographic and political realities.
The current economic crisis within Europe has contributed to something of a shift in migration patterns, as many western and southern European states, such as Ireland and Portugal, have re-emerged as sources of labour migration and have become re-imagined as European peripheries. To what extent does this involve a re-drawing of centre and margin in Europe and a re-racialization of Europe’s peripheries? Does the concept of ‘free internal movement’ make sense in understanding the dynamics of crisis outmigration from peripheral Europe? And how does immobility relate to mobility in the context of regulation, social control and crisis? This is also an interesting moment at which to assess Europe’s place in a globalized world, the relationship between global centers and peripheries, and how the intersections between crisis, global migration, gender, family and postcolonial ties are being re-shaped. Migration, mobility and immobility are key aspects of Europe’s relationships with other global regions and also in the ways in which Europe and its borders are imagined and constructed.
The conference is hosted by the Migration and Integration Research Cluster at the Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century at University College Cork.
It is supported by the UCC Strategic Research Fund.
The conference will start around lunchtime on 2nd September and will finish at lunchtime on 4th September.