Call for Panels and Papers- Section S27 International Migration- ECPR General Conference 2021

SG Migration & Ethnicity

Section S27 – International Migration: Challenges for Politics, Governance, and Society

Section Chairs: Daniela Vintila (Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies, University of Liège) and Verena Wisthaler (Eurac Research)

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


Deadline: 10 February 2021

In recent years, the intensification of human mobility worldwide has challenged the governance of international migration flows, while existing policies regulating migrants’ rights have become increasingly salient and contested. Recent events (the so-called “refugee crisis”, the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter) have fuelled debates on whether and how national, international and sub-national policy responses to migration management adequately protect mobile individuals. This Section includes 8 Panels that reflect on how these challenges affect migration policymaking and migrants’ lives.

We are looking forward to receiving panels as well as individual papers!

Confirmed Panels, looking for papers (be aware that individual panels have different deadlines, see below)

Panel 1: Shifting dynamics of politicization? Exploring the effects of recent crises on the migration policy field

Chairs: Tiziana Caponio (University of Turin), Leila Hadj Abdou (University of Vienna)

Growing politicization of migration has undoubtedly shaped the migration policy field. Its causes and effects are linked to the restructuring of socio-political conflicts: new political divisions often labelled as cosmopolitans versus communitarians, the rise of sovereigntist versus supranational claims and growing polarization. The 2015 migration crisis has intensified the debates around migration, while more recent events (COVID-19 pandemic, Vienna terrorist attacks, Black Lives Matter) highlight a possible alteration of politicization trends. This panel explores the impact of crises on migration policy and politics.

Deadline: February 5, 2021, send abstract to AND

Full call for papers

Panel 2: Superdiversity and migration policies in Europe

Chairs: Hassan Bousetta (University of Liege), Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

In a context of increasing diversification of European societies, the migration-related policies of national, supranational and sub-national actors have received significant salience. Superdiversity is not only a key social process, but also a crucial concept that gained scholarly attention since Steven Vertovec first introduced it. While different layers (race, class, gender, etc.) of diversity exist, the governance of superdiversity reveals important challenges that need to be tackled. This panel reflects on these challenges by examining societal and political responses to superdiversity.

Panel 3: The politics of international migration management: revisiting regional migration diplomacy after the European migration governance crisis

Chairs: Lena Laube (University of Bonn), Natasha Zaun (London School of Economics)

After experiencing the breakdown of established migration governance in 2015, the EU adopted several policy measures to externalise migration control to transit and origin countries. Examples include the strengthening of Frontex, the adoption of return and readmission agreements and deals with partner countries. The EU also adopted new funding instruments (the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the Jordan Compact) aiming to address ‘the root causes’ of migration. This panel asses how the European migration governance crisis has affected the power dynamics between the EU and its partner countries.

Panel 4: The impact of Black Lives Matter and Covid-19 on public attitudes to immigrants

Chairs: Didier Ruedin, Anita Manatschal (University of Neuchâtel)

When it comes to attitudes to immigrants, 2020 has seen two major events. First, the COVID-19 pandemic that heightens distinctions between in-groups and out-groups, thus potentially creating the ground for xenophobia due to increased feelings of fear, threat and anxiety. Second, the Black Lives Matter protests, whose media coverage increased awareness of structural racism that may have reduced negative stereotypes. This panel examines how these events affected social norms and attitudes to immigrants.

Deadline: 01 February, through

Full call for papers:

Panel 5: The political mobilisation of immigrant minorities

Chair: Santiago Pérez-Nievas (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

In a context of declining turnout across many democracies, the question of when, how and why immigrants mobilise politically has gained significant relevance. Although migrants represent an emerging political force, several institutional and political factors still hinder their turnout levels, which vary widely across countries or between groups. Additionally, migrants’ party identification and vote choice often deviates from that of non-migrants. This panel explores migrants’ electoral behaviour in local, regional or national elections.

Panel 6: Sanctuary cities and firewall policies in Europe

Chair: Julia Mourão Permoser (University of Innsbruck)

The term “sanctuary city” refers to local level jurisdictions that protect unauthorized immigrants from deportation or prosecution. A common characteristic of sanctuary cities is the enactment of “firewall” policies- the prohibition of public servants not directly charged with border enforcement to check migrants’ legal status. Locally enacted firewall policies often stand in contrast to federal efforts at immigration control. Sanctuary cities thus constitute important sites of resistance to restrictive national migration regimes. This panel focuses on firewall policies throughout Europe, where the phenomenon is less studied, despite growing number of sanctuary cities. 

Panel 7: Who deserves what and why? The driving forces behind public opinion towards immigrants’ integration

Chairs: Jerome Gonnot, Lenka Dražanová (European University Institute)

Migrants’ integration is high on the political agenda of many destination countries, while also being a main concern of the native population. This panel examines public attitudes towards immigrants’ economic, social, and political rights in Western Europe and the US. It explores the drivers of public opinion regarding three separate aspects of integration: access to the labour market; welfare-related concerns about the fiscal impact of immigration; and migrants’ socio-political integration and access to political rights.

Deadline: 31 January 2021, send abstract to Jerome Gonnot (

Full call for papers:

Panel 8: Immigrant participation – why do we care?

Chairs: Lea Klarenbeek (Goethe University Frankfurt), Floris Vermeulen (University of Amsterdam)

Migrants’ participation is a salient topic for scholarship on migration, citizenship, and politics. This panel explores this salience by examining conceptual questions such as: Should we be concerned with immigrant participation as an issue of equality, integration and/or the functioning of democratic institutions? What is the role of non-immigrants and political institutions in this process? Does the study of immigrant participation differ from studying political participation in general? Is non-participation a specific problem when it comes to immigrants?

Panel 9: Mobility and welfare responses in times of COVID-19

Chairs: Angeliki Konstantinidou (SciencesPo Paris), Roberta Perna (CSIC-IPP)

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront an unpreceded challenge to the norms of mobility and social protection in all world regions. While different travel restrictions -in light of the pandemic- have posed a temporary halt to mobility, the coronavirus outbreak has placed an overwhelming strain on the welfare states of all countries. The different social protection policies, offered by the home and host countries, have become a vital part of the coronavirus management, from healthcare and unemployment schemes to family benefits and guaranteed minimum income schemes. Nevertheless, the distribution of and access to social protection measures during the pandemic has been unequal, leaving the most vulnerable part of the population unprotected. Due to their legal and socio-economic status, mobile individuals are facing several obstacles in accessing social protection schemes not only in their host countries, but also when choosing to return in their homelands. This panel aims to examine from a comparative perspective the different approaches on the migration-welfare nexus of states and migrants alike in these critical times of multiple crises. Send proposals to Angeliki Konstantinidou ( and Roberta Perna ( by the 5th of February 2021.

Leave a Reply