Article (Scientific journals)
The ambivalent relations behind civil society’s engagement in the “grey zones” of migration and integration governance: Case studies from Belgium
Mescoli, Elsa; Roblain, Antoine
2021In Political Geography, 91
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Keywords :
grey zone; forced migration; civil society
Abstract :
[en] Based on qualitative data collected in two different Belgian cities (Brussels and Liège), this article focuses on the emergence of civil society initiatives to address the grey zones of migration and integration governance in the country. We define the concept of grey zones as situations that appear in specific time-spaces where problematic issues arise and the state fails to intervene. This triggers the intervention of civil society to deal with specific governance issues. In Belgium, the state – through an indifference-as-policy approach – delegates the responsibilities of reception and integration policies to multiple actors and leaves space for a variety of citizens’ initiatives to emerge. The grey zones of government policies become spaces for possible citizen-organised actions aimed at both providing initial reception and legal support to migrants, and denouncing the absence of state intervention. These citizen actions operate in particular on the issue of housing and reception of forced migrants with different legal status and migration aspirations. We also highlight the ambivalent relations emerging between civil society actors and the state. Through the analysis of two situated case studies, this article aims to provide evidence on how these civil society initiatives develop and how their humanitarian approach becomes political.
Disciplines :
Sociology & social sciences
Author, co-author :
Mescoli, Elsa  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences sociales > Centre d'études de l'ethnicité et des migrations (CEDEM)
Roblain, Antoine
Language :
Title :
The ambivalent relations behind civil society’s engagement in the “grey zones” of migration and integration governance: Case studies from Belgium
Publication date :
Journal title :
Political Geography
Publisher :
Elsevier, United Kingdom
Special issue title :
The Grey area of government
Volume :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Name of the research project :
PUMOMIG - Public opinion, mobilisations and policies concerning asylum seekers and refugees in anti- immigrants times (Europe and Belgium).
Funders :
Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) - BELSPO
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