The Role of Political and Social Institutions in the Integration of Refugees into Host Cities
Eight years after the “migration crisis” how can we understand the successes and failures of host cities to integrate Syrian refugees? A great majority of studies have focused on the formal administrative rules, policies, and “migration regime” types governing both host and migrant populations. Much less attention has been paid to the role of social institutions – the relational patterns of social roles and/or norms – that govern interactions between community members at the local level. Yet, to truly understand the successes and failures of refugee integration, the ways in which formal policies and informal norms interact, complement, or compete with one another at the local level must be considered. Furthermore, a comparative lens should be adopted, as the crisis continues to affect not only European cities, but also urban centers of the Global South that were easier for Syrians to flee to first.
The Conference, which brought together multidisciplinary researchers studying the varied and at times interactive roles that political and social institutions, included six panel discussions where a total of 18 papers have been presented and thoroughly discussed on topics including: multidimensionality of Syrian integration, refugee policy, institutions, and local governance, social integration of migrants, and integration at local levels among other topics.
The Conference will result in a working paper series in which edited and reviewed papers will be advertised across academic and policy circles and made publicly available online for early citation.