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Knowledge for Change

Upcoming event:

Knowledge for Change #6 

Professor Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute, Florence, Italy

Title: Migration and Mobility: European Dilemmas
When? November 21, 2018, 16.00-17.45
Where? Auditorium B1, Niagara, Malmö University, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö.

The event will be moderated by Pieter Bevelander, Professor of Global Political Studies at Malmö University. 

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Abstract: Migration and Mobility: European Dilemmas

"Migration and mobility are terms that describe the phenomenon of human geographical movement from different perspectives. 'Mobility' looks at individuals’ movements in relation to space and time, whereas 'migration' considers it from the perspective of territorial borders and relatively stable societies within these.

Distinguishing between the two phenomena has been crucial for the modern state system: it has unleashed mobility as free movement within state borders but has subjected migration across borders to ever-increasing levels of control. Today, however, states find it ever more difficult to maintain this distinction. There has been an exponential increase of transborder mobility in the form of tourism and business trips that is not considered and regulated as migration. Rights to free movement have been projected from national to transnational spaces in Europe, Western Africa and South America. The once clear-cut distinction between citizens with a right to residence and return, and foreigners subjected to immigration control has been blurred through quasi-citizenship statuses and the toleration of multiple citizenships. All these trends have made the borders of European states much more porous and the distinction between migration and mobility less clear.

Moreover, Europe’s economic wealth and demographic ageing on the one hand, and the 'youth bulge' and uneven economic development in Africa and the Arab world on the other, suggest that Europe’s destiny is to attract many more immigrants from these regions. Yet, European democracies are increasingly divided internally by a 'globalisation cleavage' pitting voters who embrace deeper European integration and more globally open societies against those who want governments to take back control over migration.

These political attitudes seem to be linked to personal experiences and opportunities of mobility and immobility. Political outcomes decided in electoral arenas can, today, have real impact on free movement, immigration and refugee protection in Europe. Given the persistence of the underlying mobility dynamics on the one hand and the power of anti-immigrant sentiments and political forces on the other, the tension between mobility, migration and closure is likely to shape Europe’s future in decisive, albeit unpredictable ways."

About Rainer Bauböck
Rainer Bauböck is a professor at the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. From 2007-2018 he was Chair of Social and Political Theory at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute. He is a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Academy’s Commission on Migration and Integration Research. His research interests are focused on normative political theory and comparative research on democratic citizenship, European integration, migration, nationalism and minority rights. He also co-coordinates GLOBALCIT, an online observatory on citizenship and voting rights.

What is Knowledge for Change?

With an ambition to strengthen the pivotal role of knowledge and science in society, Malmö University has set out to host a series of top quality seminars. With a total of six seminars, the series will highlight topics related to societal challenges. 

They will offer participants:

  • lectures by internationally top renowned keynote speakers;
  • seminars with selected researchers from Malmö University and external stakeholders; and
  • a series of articles related to the keynote topic.

In 2018, Malmö University not only celebrates its 20th Jubilee but will also be granted government funding to extensively build on its reputation within the research arena. Knowledge for Change is one of a number of visionary steps of action to strengthen science and science’s close connection to postgraduate and undergraduate education at Malmö University.

The seminars will focus on how universities can scrutinise, challenge and help find solutions for societal problems. Our ambition is to inspire cross-disciplinary discussions and cultivate relations and alliances both in and outside of academia — locally and globally. Ultimately, we aim at positioning science and universities’ roles in the development of society.

Knowledge for Change will be coordinated by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Social Work Professor at Malmö University, Tapio Salonen. Upcoming seminars, keynote speakers and further details will be announced in due course. 

Last updated by Johan Portland