Spaces of Decoupling in the Netherlands and Poland. Emerging Local Governance Networks for Hosting Non-EU Migrants in Peripheral and Shrinking Areas

Marlies Meijer*, Bianca Szytniewski, Joanna Zuzanna Popławska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A significant share of migration studies is dedicated to understanding how large cities in Europe deal with the influx of international migrants, forced and by choice. Rural and peripheral regions, however, are hardly identified as receiving areas for migrant newcomers. Here, economic degradation, population decline and liveability are at the centre of academic debate. Nevertheless, peripheral—and shrinking—areas are increasingly regarded as favourable locations for hosting non-EU migrants, in particular asylum seekers, refugees and recognised refugees. In our study, we combined the two debates by examining how declining small peripheral cities and rural communities in the Netherlands and Poland deal with the arrival and settlement of non-EU migrants. We identified different spaces of decoupling to better understand how local policy discourses on migration governance relate to national ones. From our study, it appears that in these spaces of decoupling, alternative, cross-regional governance networks are formed to host migrant newcomers, and in some cases, migration is framed as a panacea for the decline. Within these networks, the leading efforts of non-governmental organisations and volunteers stand out and are more prominent than in urban contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-862
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Volume24
Issue numberS5
Early online date5 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Decoupling
  • migration governance
  • periphery
  • shrinking areas
  • local governance networks
  • multi-level governance

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