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Regular version of the site

International Conference “Migrants and refugees Integration in the 21st Century”

Institute for Social Policy, National Research University Higher School of Economics

The French-Russian Research Center for Social Sciences in Moscow

Regional Expert Group on Migration and Health

Oxfam in Russia


Venue: On-line               

October 13-15, 2021

Migration and displacement have been described as global megatrends of the 21st Century. On the one hand, economic migration is seen as one of the key factors in the economic, social and cultural development of the countries hosting large flows of migrants as well as the countries of migrants’ origin. On the other, conflicts, political upheavals and disasters, as well as climate change, poverty and development projects cause the unprecedent number of people to leave their homes. Successful integration of migrants into the host society allows maximizing the contribution of migrants to the development of both the countries in which they live and work, and their home countries. Where willing repatriation of a displaced person is not a feasible option integrating into the society of asylum is the only solution. Yet, social integration is not only beneficial but demanding for both the host society and the migrant.

The Conference will focus on conceptual and methodological approaches, as well as on the discussion of empirical research to understand the complexity of international migration and integration processes. The conference is geared towards an interdisciplinary approach, seeking to bring together experts from a variety of fields, including sociology, history, anthropology, and cultural studies.

Among other issues, we expect to discuss the following themes:

1) methodological approaches to studies aimed at understanding the process of integration of migrants and refugees;

2) the integration of migrants and refugees in cities;

3) social integration of migrants and refugees and the role of policy; 

4) new diasporas;

5) integration of children of migrants and refugees

Conference program on the link

Working languages: English and Russian.

A personal link to zoom conference will be provided to registered participants.

Key speakers

  • Alison Strang, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK. Crossing continents: Migrant integration in theory, policy and practice. (ENG. Russian translation) 18.00. – 19.30, October 14, 2021

Abstract: In an increasingly mobile world, migration policy, practice and scholarship becomes ever more central to the well-being of local, regional, national and international communities. This presentation will outline the origins and rationale underlying the ‘Indicators of Integration’ framework (Ager & Strang, 2008; Strang & Ager 2010), a holistic and evidence-based approach to addressing refugee integration. The framework, described as a ‘mid-level theory’, has underpinned much policy, practice and research globally in the past decade. The presentation will consider key evidence and insights emerging from recent research. In addition, using the UK and Scotland in particular as a case study, the presentation will examine examples of collaborative refugee integration policy and practice. This will focus on the UK Government integration toolkit, the New Scots integration strategy and examples of practical interventions that exemplify a holistic approach to community integration.

Biography: Alison’s research concerns the mental health and wellbeing of those affected by conflict and disaster. She developed the ‘Indicators of Integration’ framework (Ager & Strang, 2008) and co-authored the UK Home Office updated version in 2019. Her research, in both humanitarian and resettlement contexts, seeks out grassroots perspectives and experiences to support communities, practitioners and policy makers. Recent research has addressed refugee mental health and social isolation, including in the context of COVID pandemic restrictions; social capital and the mapping of social connections; and new refugees’ integration pathways.  Alison led the development and roll out of the Scottish Government, local government and Scottish Refugee Council led national strategy:  ‘New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities’, until 2018. She is the co-founder of the ‘Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network’ a global platform to improve mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in emergencies and situations of adversity by improving access to people, resources and knowledge (www.mhpss.net).

More information on the link  

Publications on the link 

  • Sergey Abashin, European University in St. Petersburg, National Research University Higher School of Economics Russian Roulette for Migrants: The Production of Uncertainty and the Pragmatics of Fatalism. (RUS) 13.30 – 15.00. October 15, 2021

Abstract: The Russian migration regime, on the one hand, allows foreigners from a number of post-Soviet countries to freely move across the borders, but on the other hand, it creates complex and expensive ways of regulating the status of these people. As a result, the overwhelming number of foreign labor migrants have problems with documents, and the very status of correct documents is in the indefinite gray zone of constantly ongoing negotiations between migrants, entrepreneurs, police and human rights defenders. In my report, considering the 90/90 rule as one of the instruments for the production of the illegality of foreign migrants in Russia, I will show how an indefinite, simultaneously “legal” and “illegal” status of migrants is created. I will also consider which migrants choose strategies of behavior in this uncertain situation, what social and emotional resources they use for this.

Biography: Sergey N. Abashin, Professor of the European University at St. Petersburg, author of the books "Nationalisms in Central Asia" (2007) and "Soviet Kishlak" (2015), co-editor (with O. Brednikova) of the collection «"Live in two worlds ": rethinking transnationalism and translocality"» (2021)







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