Contact: Rilke Mahieu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Newcomers encounter many barriers after their arrival in the receiving country. Language barriers, diploma recognition, equal access to health care and education, discrimination on the housing and labour markets, shifted social status and identities, socio-cultural adaptation and social isolation are just a few of the challenges newcomers face with regard to their structural and social integration. Since integration is best conceptualised as a two-way process, understanding the situation of newcomers requires an inclusion of the perspectives and practices of newcomers, on the one hand, and all segments of the receiving society, on the other. In addition, while the study of integration requires a focus on dynamics within the receiving societies, often a more international perspective is necessary to grasp immigrants’ experiences fully. While living ‘here’, continuing transnational loyalties and practices relating to ‘there’ (origin country) affect their everyday lives in the receiving country fundamentally.
A category of newcomers requiring particular attention are asylum seekers and refugees, whose specific migration trajectories, social status and vulnerabilities pose additional challenges to their inclusion in the receiving society. Also for the receiving societies, an increased influx of asylum seekers poses particular challenges with regard to appropriate arrival structures, such as suitable housing and psychological counselling.
With respect to the topic of migrant integration, CeMIS aims to contribute to different strands of research. In fundamental research, newcomer integration is approached from various theoretical angles, such as in research on integration paradigms and intercultural relations. Differently, in applied research CeMIS contributes more directly to practices and policies supporting newcomers’ inclusion processes, for instance by evaluating existing integration policies or by contributing to the creation of particular tools aiding newcomers. This type of research engages strongly with relevant actors in the field, such as local, regional and (supra-) national policy makers, citizens and civil society actors.