Europe: Diversity and Migration

Europe’s demography in terms of ethno-cultural composition is rapidly diversifying in an unprecedented way. The majority group in urban areas is morphing into a minority amidst other minorities. This is caused by the outcome of labour migration in the past, but equally so by continuous migration in the present, not in the least by the influx of recent refugees and asylum seekers from war torn regions of Syria and Iraq. This topic has become a priority issue for policymakers at the national and EU-level. There is a great concern at all walks of life and from different ideological perspectives on how to deal adequately with superdiversity as it affects all realms of society. The first edition of the Summer School ‘Europe: Diversity and Migration’ addresses these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and in doing so, provides participants with insights, practices and skills to understand the current transformation of Europe.

Some of the crucial questions addressed during the summer school are:

  • How is society to be imagined when native majorities are becoming a minority in Europe’s largest cities?
  • Can historical processes of urbanization and diversification help us to understand current processes?
  • How to manage and organise diversity in European countries?
  • What role can the European Union play in addressing the issues of migration and diversity?
  • How do society’s core institutions such as the political, judicial, educational and labour market system need to be reconfigured in light of continuing stratification processes impacting foremost on ethnic minorities?
  • What new modes of belonging and collective identities are emerging?
  • What are the possible ‘futures’ of European societies giving the evermore increasing diversity?

To answer these questions this summer school aims to relate the national and supranational level, with particular interest to the EU’s response to these societal transformations, to local experiences and processes. The ‘superdiverse' City of Antwerp will be considered as a real-life example, but case studies from other European cities will also be handled. The summer school provides participants with concrete insights, information and tools based on theoretical perspectives, empirical case studies and field visits. In doing so it reveals the interrelations between the micro-, meso- and macro-level processes concerned allowing for fine-grained and in-depth understandings of the complex relationships between migration and integration processes.