Established in 2015, this research network brings together scholars, policymakers and practitioners across Europe and beyond to provide a forum for debating current and emerging issues on European economic migration as well as fostering collaboration and expanding research opportunities.
In its first phase (2015-2018), the MICaRD network focussed on labour mobility within the EU and the impact on regional development in rural areas of both sending and receiving nations. The network events in Belfast, Belgrade, Warsaw and Lincoln provided a forum for debating a wide range of issues, aiming to build bridges across the disconnected geographies of migration research. A wide range of topics, theories and methodologies were covered, including integration, belonging and community cohesion; the challenges of doing research on migration in rural areas; mobility, spatiality and place; urban versus rural migration; depopulation, circular and temporary migration; gendered experiences of migration; entrepreneurial activities of migrant communities; and migration policy.
In its second phase (2019-2022), MICaRD aimed to build on past achievements by consolidating and strengthening existing collaborations as well as forging new ties. The overarching theme of the second phase was ‘Community wellbeing and social inclusion in the context of migration and mobility’. This focus underpined network activities in phase two.
Adopting an inter-disciplinary approach, this theme was be explored from a variety of perspectives: ranging from the level of individuals in the community and their wellbeing (How various aspects of community impact on the wellbeing of individuals?); the level of the wellbeing of the community as a whole (e.g. relationships, mobilities and interdependencies), as well as the context of policies and power within which communities prosper; and places where these dynamic and complex relationships take place. Of particular interest was the rural context. All these were examined through a range of lenses including social, political, economic and cultural; adopting global as well as local viewpoints, and discussing global issues from a local perspective.
If you would like more information contact Dr. Agnieszka Rydzik (email@example.com)
Between 11-12th May 2023, migration researchers and social work practitioners gathered for an inter-disciplinary migration conference – ‘Practice and Research Symposium: Social Service Responses to Migration’ – organised by the RSA Migration, Inter-Connectivity and Regional Development International Research Network (MICaRD). The aim of the conference was to explore how local social services and policymakers are responding to changes in communities as a result of migration.
The conference took place at the Democritus University of Thrace in Komotini, situated in the north-eastern part of Greece, one of the most diverse and multi-ethnic parts of Greece (but also one of the most deprived), with a long history of migration as well as being at the forefront of the recent displacement crisis. This has made the city of Komotini an ideal location for hosting the conference and discussing policies, approaches and responses to migration and displacement.
This was an important conference for the region and for Greek scholars, social workers, practitioners as well as students working and specialising in the area of migration, displacement, social work and community development. The conference gave them space to share knowledge, discuss and analyse local, regional and national challenges, policies and approaches. Due to its significance regionally and nationally, several press outlets reported on the conference.
The conference enabled researchers and practitioners to come together and bridge the gap between academic research, policy and grassroots activities. In terms of participation, we therefore had a very strong representation of attendees from across Greece but also from Europe and beyond, including attendees from Austria, Germany, UK, Italy, Sweden, Slovenia, Turkey, Cyprus, Iceland, Jordan, Switzerland, and Canada.
We received over 40 abstracts and had over 70 participants attending over the two days of the conference. As well as those presenting, there were representatives from NGOs and local authorities, social workers, Masters students and PhD researchers. We were proud to be able to facilitate connections and conversations, making links across disciplinary, geographic and cultural spheres.
Some of the topics discussed included analyses of national and EU policies and legal frameworks; human rights approaches; community inclusion; local and regional development perspectives; local challenges in managing displacement crisis and impacts on the regional level; social services responses in terms of housing, public health, employment, education; marginalisation of migrants and tackling inequalities in service provision; building resilience, capabilities and stronger communities among refugees and economic migrants; approaches towards supporting children and young adult refugees; diverse prevention and protection measures, and transnational solidarity.
The conference saw outstanding keynote presentations by Prof. Danai Papadatou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) on ‘Living in liminality: How unaccompanied minors are affected and supported in Greece?’ and Prof Darja Zaviršek (University of Ljubljana) on ‘Social work in times of war’. The full programme and the Book of Abstracts can be found on the conference website.
Information about the RSA Migration, Inter-Connectivity and Regional Development (MICaRD) network and past events can be found here.
Between 28-30th September, migration researchers from across the UK, Europe and beyond joined colleagues at the University of Lincoln (UK) for an inter-disciplinary migration conference “Hospitality, Community and Welcome: Researching working lives, representations and everyday realities of migrants” organised by the RSA Migration, Inter-Connectivity and Regional Development International Research Network (MICaRD).
Hosted by the Lincoln International Business School, the conference brought together over 50 researchers with a shared interest in exploring contemporary issues in migration and mobilities, making links across disciplinary, geographic and cultural boundaries. As well as academics with across the UK, the conference attracted researchers from Finland, Bosnia and Hercegovina, India, Poland, Ireland and Portugal.
Presentations explored the themes of hospitality, community and welcome in the lives of migrants as well as the complexities, challenges and futures of migration and mobilities studies. The conference saw outstanding keynote presentations by Prof Donna Chambers (Northumbria University), Dr Elena Genova and Dr Elisabetta Zontini (University of Nottingham), and Prof. Sundari Anitha (University of Lincoln) and Dr Iwona Zielińska-Poćwiardowska (Maria Grzegorzewska University). Recordings of the keynote presentations and the full programme can be found on the conference website.
Conference participants also had chance to hear from researchers and local practitioners who are bridging the gap between academic research and grassroots activities in migrant communities. The panellists included Dr Anna Scott (Assistant Director for the Arts Council England funded Transported Creative People and Places arts programme), Prof Heather Hughes (involved in the Creative Europe WE-Hope project) and Bahar Tömek (involved in Lincoln Embracing All Nations (LEAN) initiative).
One of the underlying concepts was the multidimensional nature of belonging, how belonging is shaped, experienced and framed, and how it manifests through place belongingness as well as the politics of belonging in uncertain times. Numerous presentations explored how migrants and refugees navigate often inhospitable spaces, how they negotiate belonging in uncertain times and their everyday experiences of (un)welcome. This multidimensional, fluid and contested nature of belonging will be explored through a Special Issue to be published in the Hospitality & Society journal.
Click here to see the MICaRD conference full programme.
OTHER PAST EVENTS
- Launch event and special panel session at Regional Studies Association Conference, Graz, Austria – 3 – 6 April 2016
- Inaugural dinner and workshop ‘Exploring and identifying barriers to migrants’ opportunities in the labour market’ organised in association with the Trans-Atlantic Rural Research Network and hosted by Queen’s University Belfast – 17 – 18 May 2016
- ‘Contemporary Migration in Changing World: New Perspectives and Challenges’ International Conference hosted by the University of Belgrade, Serbia – 18 – 21 September 2016
- A two-day workshop on “Out-migration and circular migration: impacts on regions and communities”, University of Warsaw, Poland – 11 – 12 September 2017
- RSA MICaRD Research Network Symposium “Beyond economic contribution: Migrant Identities, Working Lives and Social Embeddedness”, University of Lincoln, UK – 25 – 27 April 2018
- Special Session: 2019 Student and Early Career Conference, Lincoln, UK. Call for Abstracts is available here.
- Winter 2020: ‘International and Internal Migration: Challenges and Opportunities in Europe’ (Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy)