CfP ECPR General Conference- Panel “Shifting dynamics of politicization? Exploring the effects, and interactions of recent crises on the migration policy field”

ECPR General Conference, University of Innsbruck, 31 August – 3 September 2021

Standing Group on ‘Migration and Ethnicity’- Section S27 – International Migration: Challenges for Politics, Governance, and Society

Chairs: Daniela Vintila (University of Liège) and Verena Wisthaler (European Accademy of Bolzano)

Call for Papers (submissions until: Feb 5, 2021) 

Shifting dynamics of politicization? Exploring the effects, and interactions of recent crises on the migration policy field. 

TIZIANA CAPONIO (Department of Politics, Cultures and Society/University of Turin & Collegio Carlo Alberto) & LEILA HADJ ABDOU (Department of Political Science/University of Vienna & Migration Policy Centre/European University Institute)  

The growing politicization of migration has been undoubtedly a key dynamic, shaping the migration policy field in the past decades. The causes and effects of this politicization of migration are linked to changes in the social foundations of politics, and the restructuring of socio-political conflicts: new political divisions often labelled as cosmopolitans versus communitarians, and the accompanying rise of sovereignist versus supranational claims and growing political polarization.   

Research on the 2015 migration crisis, has shown that the crisis did not necessarily alter policy approaches but interacted with the new socio-political conflicts by further intensifying political debates around migration and mobility. However, more recent crises and key events in Europe, including the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorist attacks such as in Vienna 2020, the ongoing climate change issue, as well as the Black Lives Matter mobilizations, highlight a possible alteration and redefinition of politicization trends. The current Covid-19 pandemic, for instance, has partly shifted attention away from the migration issue and by doing so has potentially opened up space for more liberal migration policies. In the wake of the pandemic, divisions between those advocating sovereignism and those promoting cooperation across national boundaries, moreover, seem also to have become partly blurred: Whilst there is tendency for more desire for international cooperation, there is also an increasing desire to be shielded from global dangers.  

In sum, by focusing on recent crises in this panel we seek to explore new venues of conceptualizing and analyzing the impact of crisis on migration policy and politics, taking into account the interactions of different crises with each other, as well as with underlying socio-economic drivers of political change. Contributions submitted to this panel should especially focus on whether and how recent crises have altered the politicization of migration. We encourage and welcome both theoretical and empirical papers presenting cutting-edge research on the impact of recent crises in different contexts.

We are looking forward to receive your paper proposals (250 word abstracts including title, research question, approaches, and methods, and main argument/findings or expectations in case of papers still under progress) until February 5, 2021 to AND