Created with Sketch.
The Cities of Refuge Podcast
42 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
15: Human rights in urban debates on migration and diversity
Global cities are often thought of as culturally diverse, welcoming to newcomers, and generally committed to human rights norms. To unpack this conception, Moritz Baumgärtel talks to Lisa Roodenburg, who recently defended her PhD dissertation entitled “Anticipating Friction: The role of human rights in urban debates on migration and diversity” at the University of Amsterdam. They discuss the insights that she gained from the three cases studies of Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Buenos Aires, which show that notions of human rights are not just manifold but often contested and contradictory, even within the same locality. Their conversation touches upon the importance of local political and institutional factors, the influence and strategies of civil society actors, and the merits and shortcomings of the human rights labels that global cities in particular like to adopt.
39 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
14: Local migration and citizenship practices in Switzerland
Switzerland is a unique “fortress” in Europe, both geographically and socially speaking. This diverse but relatively exclusive country hosts many international organisations, yet also fewer refugees per capita than most other European countries, as well as a comparably high percentage of well-off expats. Switzerland also has a highly decentralized and stringently regulated four-tiered governance system, and so-called “city states” where the municipalities and kantons share the same borders. In this episode, Elif Durmuş interviews UCR alumnae Natalia Burduli and Lea Jörg, who wrote their BA theses on Geneva and Bern, respectively, within the framework of the Cities of Refuge project. Together, they explore the role of civil society in shaping local migration policies and practices of inclusion, exclusion, and urban citizenship, including through the novel practice of city ID cards. For more information on the Declaration mentioned in the episode, undersigned by "Cities and Municipalities for the Reception of Refugees" and urging the Swiss government to react to the situation of refugees and especially minors in the Greek refugee camps, see https://bit.ly/2S69q2b.
41 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
13: Multi-level migration governance in Italy and beyond
Italy as one of Europe’s migration “front line” states has gone through tumultuous years of migration policy, which found their apex during the former government with its Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. To break down the practical and theoretical implications of this period and its aftermath, Moritz Baumgärtel is joined by Tiziana Caponio, Associate Professor at the University of Turin and Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute. The interview starts off by considering the status quo of Italian migration policy post-Salvini before pivoting to the concept of multi-level governance and how it applies, with some significant limitations, in the context of Italy. They also discuss the “whole-of-community” approach to migration governance, which is at the heart of Tiziana Caponio’s new Horizon 2020 project ("Whole-COMM"), as well as the use that this approach could have for small and medium-sized towns in Italy and across Europe. More information about Tiziana Caponio's new research project "Whole-COMM: Exploring the Integration of Post-2014 Migrants in Small and Medium-Sized Towns and Rural Areas from a Whole of Community Perspective” can be found at http://whole-comm.eu.
43 minutes | May 17, 2021
12: The Dutch approach of “muddling through” on refugee policy
Dutch politics have seen heated migration-related controversies in recent years, on topics such as the relocation of migrants from the Greek islands or emergency shelter for refused asylum seekers. To discuss the haphazard process of policymaking in this area, Barbara Oomen and Sara Miellet speak to Bram van Ojik, a former Member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the GreenLeft Party, who has been very active in this area for decades. Their conversation tackles a range of questions including the different policy rationales of national and local policymakers, the ambiguous relation of the Dutch political class to human rights principles, the problematic effect of partisan politics, and the definition of success for advocates of a more progressive approach to immigration.
64 minutes | May 3, 2021
11: Fostering resilience in local migration governance in Turkey
The arrival of millions of Syrian refugees has had profound and complex effects on Turkish municipalities. In this episode, Elif Durmuş interviews Sinan Özden, the National Project Manager of RESLOG Turkey, which uses the concept of resilience to build a local governance toolbox in relation to migration challenges. In their discussion, they go through the methods and knowledge generated, codified and disseminated for and by local governments and their partners; questions of municipal ownership over the resulting concepts and approaches; as well as the durability of the successes that have been achieved so far. RESLOG stands for Resilience of Local Governance in the Face of Migration and is a larger programme initiated by the Swedish Association of Local Administrations and Regions (SALAR) with branches in Sweden, Turkey and Lebanon. RESLOG Turkey is operationalized by its specialized management team together with the Union of Turkish Municipalities, the Marmara Municipalities Union, and the Çukurova Municipalities Union.
42 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
10: Our favourite snapshots from the field
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. For this 10th episode, the entire Cities of Refuge team comes together to go through some of the most illustrative and symbolic pictures that it took on the various sites of the fieldwork in the past three years. As the visual journey takes us to Heidelberg, Vlissingen, Samos, the north of the Netherlands, Ankara and lastly Marrakesh, the crew touches upon a range of aspects including the politics of representation, “mundane” dimensions of integration, the power of walls and barriers, the importance of cooperation, and local migration policies being deliberately hidden from public view. To have a look at the photos, visit https://citiesofrefuge.eu/blog/favourite-snapshots
39 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
9: The meaning of public space for refugee integration
Urban public spaces play a vital role in the experience especially of refugee youth, and therefore also for their integration. Sara Miellet speaks with Ilse van Liempt, Associate Professor in Urban Geography at Utrecht University, about her ongoing research on this topic. Their discussion addresses aspects such as the difference between formal and informal spaces of encounters, the everyday expressions of integration, the ways refugees claim public space, and the role that local authorities can play to facilitate such processes. They also consider the changing character of public space in times of a global pandemic – and what we can all learn from refugees as involuntary “lockdown experts”. Ilse van Liempt is a member of the HERA research project Refugee Youth in Public Space and the research leader of the focus area Migration and Societal Change of Utrecht University. For more information on home-making and place attachment of refugees in the Netherlands, read this article (open access), co-authored by Ilse van Liempt and Sara Miellet (forthcoming in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies).
44 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
8: Can Greek cities integrate refugees amidst multiple crises?
Many local authorities in Greece have been surprisingly proactive in the policy areas of refugee reception and integration despite their limited competencies, experience, and resources. Tihomir Sabchev talks to Lefteris Papagiannakis, Head of Advocacy, Policy and Research at the Athens-based NGO Solidarity Now and former Vice-Mayor of Athens, to discuss the extent and reasons for municipal activism in Greece, as well as the limits and potentials of thereof. Their discussion tackles central questions such as the legal constraints confronting progressive localities, the complex political environment in Greece, the leading role of larger cities and mayors, and the importance of creating durable policy solutions in a crisis-worn context.
32 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
7: Building human rights cities in Turkey
Due to the war in neighbouring Syria, Turkey is currently the world’s top refugee hosting country, having welcomed nearly five million people over the past decade. To discuss the role of local governments as on-the-ground providers of human and refugee rights in such a challenging context, Elif Durmuş speaks with Bahar Özden, Programme Consultant at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of Lund University. More specifically, they discuss the Institute’s recent human rights cities project in Turkey, the rights of refugees as one focus point of these efforts, and the project’s resilience in the face of contested local elections, a global pandemic, a heavy economic crisis, and an increasingly hostile and xenophobic environment towards Syrian refugees.
44 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
6: The advent of city networks in global migration governance
The newly found confidence of local governments also extends to the global level where cities are teaming up in networks to influence migration governance. Moritz Baumgärtel is joined by Colleen Thouez, the Director of the Welcoming and Inclusive Cities Division at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) to discuss the growing activism and recent accomplishments of local authorities on the international stage. They go through the reasons behind the proliferation of inter-city networks, the creation of the Mayors Migration Council by OSF and their partners, the difficult question of access to and representation in these networks, their relationship to international organizations such as the UNHCR, and the promise that inspirational mayoral leadership holds for the future. For more information on the rise of global city networks, read: Colleen Thouez, "Cities as Emergent International Actors in the Field of Migration", Global Governance (2020): https://bit.ly/2ZdHsBs Barbara Oomen, "Decoupling and Teaming up" (open access), International Migration Review (2020): https://bit.ly/3ddCEUO Cities of Refuge, "Transnational City Networks and Migration Policy" (open access), policy report (2018): https://bit.ly/3daVDzu
40 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
5: How local elections (really) influence migration policy
Local elections, unlike national ones, are rarely perceived as the gamechangers that they often are for the reception and integration of newcomers. Moritz Baumgärtel, Elif Durmus, Tihomir Sabchev and Sara Miellet take a closer look at their highly varied impact and more generally at the dynamics of local politics based on the PhD crew’s insights from their research in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. In their discussion, the team also probes common assumptions regarding the relevance of political colour and partisan politics, the relation of local to national politics, and the belief that welcoming approaches are necessarily a political liability.
39 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
4: The rise of the German “Cities of Safe Harbours” alliance
In June 2019, 13 German cities decided to create the municipal alliance “Cities of Safe Harbours” that stands in solidarity with the “Seebrücke” movement in its quest to create safe pathways for refugees and end the criminalization of maritime rescue. Moritz Baumgärtel, Sara Miellet and UCR student Franziska Pett look at the origins of the initiative, the motivation behind cities’ participation, and some of the actions that have resulted from their commitments. They also zoom in on the roles played by Berlin and Potsdam, two of the alliance's founding cities, and discuss some of the tensions that exist between their municipal authorities and local civil society organisations. Franziska Pett is a graduating student at University College Roosevelt (UCR) in Middelburg. She wrote her senior project on the Safe Harbours alliance and more specifically on the motivations and strategies of Berlin and Potsdam as two of its key members.
35 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
3: Community sponsorship: A Canadian model for European cities?
A growing number of communities in Europe are exploring options to “sponsor” refugees by directly resettling them from abroad and integrating them into their localities. Tihomir Sabchev talks to Lawrence Robinson, Senior Policy Coordinator at the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, about the potential and the challenges of importing this model from Canada, where over 300,000 refugees have been welcomed under this scheme since 1979. Their discussion tackles key issues such as the respective roles of local and national governments in this model, the principle of additionality to national resettlement quotas, the merits of naming specific refugees or groups, as well as resources and funding. The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) is based at the Refugee Hub of the University of Ottawa as a joint initiative with the Government of Canada, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Open Society Foundation, and the Giustra Foundation. For a primer on city-led refugee resettlement, read this short article on the topic, published by Tihomir Sabchev and Moritz Baumgärtel in the February 2020 issue of the Forced Migration Review.
36 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
2: The future of US sanctuary cities under a Biden administration
In less than a month, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th US president. Moritz Baumgärtel speaks with Hiroshi Motomura, Professor at the UCLA School of Law, about the immigration legacy of the Trump era, possible differences between the former Obama and a forthcoming Biden administration in their approach to migration policy, as well as the role that US sanctuary jurisdictions have played and will play in the future. Hiroshi Motomura is the Susan Westerberg Prager Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA and the author of Immigration Outside the Law (2014) and Americans in Waiting (2007). His most recent article, "The New Migration Law", was published in the Cornell Law Review earlier this year.
18 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
1: Dutch cities push for a transfer of migrant children from Greece
Localities across Europe have responded to the humanitarian crisis on Lesbos and other Greeks islands by declaring their willingness to receive refugees. In the Netherlands, likewise, they have continued to put pressure on a reluctant national government. In this first episode of the podcast, Barbara Oomen and Moritz Baumgärtel discuss the most recent developments related to the transfer of 100 unaccompanied minors and vulnerable migrants to the Netherlands and the broader lessons that we can draw from the Dutch debate.
6 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Coming Soon: The Cities of Refuge Podcast
Coming December 10th, the Cities of Refuge research project based at Utrecht University will launch a podcast of the same name. In this introductory episode, Barbara Oomen and Moritz Baumgärtel tell us more about the project and the team, and offer a glimpse into what we can expect from the first few episodes. Learn more about the project at www.citiesofrefuge.eu and on Twitter: @UUCoR.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021