Migrant integration governance in CEE cities post 2015 – MigIntegrEast


2021 - 2023

Source of funding

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Horizon 2020

This Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Horizon 2020 project aims to assess a novel form of migration governance that emerged in Central and Eastern European (CEE) cities in the post-2015 context. The governance of integration of immigrants (managing immigrant integration by state and non-state actors) in cities occupies a vital role in the public discourse, in EU, national, and local politics, and in academic debates (e.g. see priority theme of the European Commission, EU Priority Themes, 2018; the EU Integration Action Plan of Third-Country Nationals, 2016; the 2018 Urban Agenda Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees). It mobilizes adversative responses from state and non-state actors at supranational, national, and local levels. In light of the 2015 crisis of humanitarian protection of refugees in Europe, it is critical to understand what drives these different responses. By focusing specifically on cities in CEE, the research goal of Migrant integration governance in CEE cities post-2015 (MigIntegrEast) is to identify the role of macro-, meso-, and micro-level factors and processes in the governance of integration of immigrants in the post-2015 context. MigIntegrEast asks: what are the roles of (1) supranational and state-level factors (e.g. statehood history, civil society history, migration history, and patterns), (2) local-level factors (e.g. city migration history, city population size, city foreign-born population, local administration structure, current local administration political representation, NGOs, movement, local communities) and (3) individual-level characteristics (such as the social and cultural capital of members of the local administration, NGOs, grassroots groups, local communities) in immigrant integration governance by state- (local administration) and non-state actors (e.g. NGOs, grassroots groups, migrant groups) in CEE cities? Integration governance will be analyzed in four Polish and two Hungarian cities selected based on the criterion of congruence and incongruence with the national-level policies and policy responses post-2015 crisis. The methodology builds on a comparative case study design and uses qualitative data collection methods and computer-assisted thematic analysis. Approaching the well-established field of local immigrant integration policies from a perspective of under-researched CEE cities, the project makes advancements in immigrant integration governance outside the Western European and North American contexts.