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Temporary migrants or new European citizens? Geographies of integration and response between 'camps' and the city

Principal Investigator: Dr Tatiana Thieme, UCL

Abstract

This research aims to provide an alternative account of the European ‘refugee crisis’, where the arrival of over 1.5 million refugees since 2015 has stretched EU and individual state capacities; tested formal registration and arrival procedures; and (reignited) debates around continental ‘margins’ and geopolitical power differentials between east and west Europe. In this project, we provincialise and challenge narratives of ‘the crisis’ through an engagement with the evolving duties of care, needs and agencies of refugees and providers on the arrival ‘frontlines’. Our multi-sited research will engage with the myriad forms of arrival settlement, from the makeshift and temporary camps along the Hungarian-Serbian border to the sprawling tent communities in Lesbos, and the disintegration of the ‘Jungle’ in Calais. By ‘thinking from the south’ and vantage of post-colonial cities, we will capture and explore the improvisation, precarity, makeshift practices and alternative scripts of citizenship that refugees and local agencies utilize alongside how state rules and norms are negotiated.

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