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2nd Call for Papers

Aalborg, November 18-20, 2004

The 13th Nordic Migration Conference will be organized by the Academy for Migration Studies in Denmark (AMID). It will take place in Aalborg between November 18 and November 20, 2004. It targets researchers of migration issues in the Nordic countries as well as migration scholars elsewhere in the world with an interest in questions relating to migration, cultural diversity and integration in the Nordic countries and the wider European and global context. But it is also relevant for practitioners working in these fields, e.g. political actors, journalists, civil servants, representatives of labour-market and immigrant organizations, educationalists, and social workers.

As always, this Nordic Migration Conference aims to be an open forum for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work spanning a wide range of migration-related issues and problems in the Nordic countries. It will consist of a number of keynote addresses, roundtables, panel discussions and other professional and social activities.

The conference will particularly focus on theoretical, comparative and empirical research falling within one or more of the following five themes:

  1. The history and applications of the integration concept in the Nordic countries
    Different academic disciplines approach the notion of integration in different ways, and regarding both politics and civil society there are interesting differences between practices and discourses of integration in the Nordic countries. There is generally some consensus about the distinction between assimilation, integration and segregation, but at the same time integration is often used as a catch-all concept to designate both processes and objectives of inclusionary strategies. Theoretically the challenge is to clarify and conceptualize the different uses across disciplines - and also to tackle the difference between national and transnational integration. And regarding practices and discourses, panels and papers are invited to address questions of historical and contemporary differences and similarities of understanding and application in the Nordic countries and other national contexts too.

  2. The national welfare state, ethnic minorities and the transnational challenge
    The Nordic welfare model is characterized by a fairly generous welfare system. This may lead to the Nordic countries being regarded as a "welfare magnet" for immigrants from countries with lower social standards. In this context, we need to know more about the possible consequences of relatively high rates of unemployment benefits and public welfare for labour-market integration, both generally and in respect of ethnic minorities? Does immigration - alone or in combination with other factors - imply significant changes to the Nordic welfare model? How can we conceptualize questions of citizenship, civil rights, social participation and belonging for ethnic minorities in the context of the Nordic welfare state? And what lessons can be learnt from other types of welfare systems and different ways of handling the "immigrant challenge"?

  3. Immigrants and the labour market: mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion
    In recent decades the employment situation of immigrants has worsened in many countries, leading to the creation of large groups of immigrants and descendants who are almost totally excluded from the labour market. What are the causes and consequences of this deterioration of the employment situation? Can social networks be useful in the job-searching process? Does an active social and/or labour-market policy help immigrants find jobs? Do economic incentives increase the readiness among immigrants to look for employment? And what kind of role do educational programs and policies play for the success of labour-market integration, both inside and outside of the Nordic countries?

  4. Ethnic minorities and social networks
    There are two major implications of this theme. First, ethnic minorities are mostly people who have moved from one region in the world to another, with the intention of settling down. In that sense networks evolve between groups of people in sending and receiving countries, but also across a wider range of national contexts. The conference aims to discuss such networks and also the empirical and theoretical relations between aspects of migration, diaspora, transnationalism and globalization. Second, we would like to discuss the social networks that develop among ethnic minorities in the societies in which they live. What are the limitations, possibilities and demands of such networks, and how do they contribute to (or limit) their members' societal integration?

  5. The politics of immigration control
    Controlling borders and monitoring the flows of refugees and immigrants have turned into high-priority political issues for all European countries, both at national and EU levels, over the last 7 or 8 years. Panels and papers in this area might focus both on the minutiae of immigration control (the techniques and organizational resources used), on the causes, dynamics and consequences of this type of politics and policies for integrative processes, political representation or social cohesion, or on larger issues of boundary dynamics, global security concerns and cooperation in international institutions.

The organizers hereby invite panels & papers within this range of concerns.

Panels should preferably take the form of two or three interlinked sessions on a clearly defined topic, each session lasting 2 hours and comprising two or three paper presentations followed by discussant contributions and time for open debate. Panel proposers should submit their proposal along with a topic outline of 200-250 words, an indication about which of the five major themes the panel is seen as belonging to, and - if they wish -a proposal for specific papers and paper-givers that fit into the panel. Each paper title should be accompanied by a 200-word abstract. It is generally preferable that panels leave room for the integration of papers that have been proposed on an individual basis.

Organizational details
The conference will be organized by the Steering Committee of the Academy for Migration Studies in Denmark, headed by its Director, Professor Ulf Hedetoft, and assisted by an Advisory Committee consisting of the following distinguished migration scholars in the Nordic countries.

Advisory Committee
Professor Grete Brochmann, Norway
Senior Researcher Annika Forsander, Finland
Professor Tomas Hammar, Sweden
Professor Anne Holmen, Denmark
Professor Thomas Hylland-Eriksen, Norway
Associate Professor Lis Højgaard, Denmark
Professor Yngve Lithman, Norway
Associate Professor Karen Fog Olwig, Denmark
Professor Peder Pedersen, Denmark
Professor Tom Sandlund, Finland
Professor Torben Tranæs, Denmark
Professor Eskil Wadensjö, Sweden
Professor Charles Westin, Sweden
Senior Research Fellow Lars Østby, Norway
Professor Aleksandra Ålund, Sweden

Information about AMID - its objectives, ongoing activities and organizational structure - can be obtained from AMID's website.

The conference language will be English.

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