University of Gothenburg
SIPGI – Flyktinginvandring och städer

Refugee migration and cities (SIPGI)

Cities are often the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Well-functioning policies for integration into society are therefore very important both for the wellbeing of the migrants and for sustainable city development.

The research programme Refugee Migration and Cities: Social Institutions, Political Governance and Integration in Jordan, Turkey and Sweden (SIPGI) aims to contribute to new knowledge about political and social possibilities and limitations for urban integration in large cities in Sweden, Turkey and Jordan.

Cities receiving refugees and migrants must work to secure long-term integration of new citizens who otherwise risk alienation from society, without access to the labour market, housing, healthcare or education. The selection of the cities in this research programme is based on their different political, economic and social preconditions in organizing immigration, as well as their shared experience of receiving large numbers of Syrian refugees since 2013.

The research programme SIPGI will expand and strengthen the knowledge about integration and social cohesion in cities, improve the comparability of collected data and increase theoretical knowledge about political governance and social cohesion in connection to refugee immigration. The programme, which will run from 2018 to 2024, will contribute to new knowledge about the preconditions required to create inclusive cities in both the short and long term.

SIPGI will ask the following research questions:

  • In which ways do political and social institutions vary in how they work with refugee immigration in the three cities?
  • How does these institutions affect refugees’ access to social welfare?
  • How does these institutions affect refugees’ integration into society and their relationships to the native population?

To answer these questions, SIPGI will use both quantitative (surveys, experiments) and qualitative methods (elite interviews, interviews with refugees, policy documents, focus groups and ethnographic field studies).

The programme gathers researchers from Sweden, Turkey, Jordan and USA. The Centre on Global Migration (CGM) at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, is the host of the programme, in close collaboration with the programme on Global Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Lund University and the Migration Research Institute (MiReKoc), which is the leading migration research centre in Turkey.

The participating researchers come from different research disciplines (political science, peace and development research, social anthropology and geography) with different methodological starting points (large N-studies, experimental research, elite surveys, ethnographic research and VR-technique), and with extensive experience of working in different political contexts (Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Sweden).

The research programme provides opportunity to carry out research projects that take on complex societal challenges such as migration and integration. The consortium’s extensive international and local networks make it possible to spread research results to a broad network of local, regional, national and international actors within the migration area in addition to the academic community, for example policy makers, civil servants, civic society, refugee organisations and media.

The research will be carried out in collaboration with practitioners with the aim to find new, shared knowledge that can be useful for groups and networks in for example civic society and non-state organisations, as well as municipal organisations.

Project leader

Andrea Spehar
Director SIPGI
Tel: +4631-786 1192