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SIPGI – Refugee Migration and Cities: Social Institutions, Political Governance and Integration in Jordan, Turkey and Sweden

Research project
Active research
Project period
2018 - 2024
Project owner
School of Global Studies

Financier
Swedish Research Council

Short description

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 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.

Background

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. 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. 

Research aims

The research programme 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. The selection of the cities in this research programme is based on their different political, economic and social preconditions in organising immigration, as well as their shared experience of receiving large numbers of Syrian refugees since 2013.

The research programme aims to 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 hopes to contribute to new knowledge about the preconditions required to create inclusive cities in both the short and long term.

SIPGI provides the opportunity to carry out research projects that take on complex societal challenges such as migration and integration. The programme’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, policymakers, civil servants, civic society, refugee organisations and media.

Research questions and methods

  • In which ways do political and social institutions vary in how they work with refugee immigration in the three cities?
  • How do these institutions affect refugees’ access to social welfare?
  • How do 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 the USA. 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 in Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and in Sweden.
 

Members

Andrea Spehar, Director
University of Gothenburg

Mine Eder
Boğaziçi University, Turkey

Kristen Kao
University of Gothenburg

Ellen Lust
University of Gothenburg

Isabell Schierenbeck
University of Gothenburg

Josepha Wessels
Lund University