Rights, Democracy and Migration – Looking Back at the 12th IMISCOE and 1st nccr – on the move Annual Conference in Geneva.

At the end of June, the 12th IMISCOE Annual Conference was hosted in Geneva. This gathering of the leading European migration researchers was also the first Annual Conference of the nccr – on the move and an opportunity to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies (SFM) of the University of Neuchatel.


More than 400 national and international researchers and experts assembled to discuss the interrelation between rights, democracy and migration in contemporary Europe.

Some photographic impressions

In the opening keynote address, Andreas Wimmer (University of Princeton) shed light on the particular ambivalence between (economic) openness towards migrants and their political exclusion in the context of Swiss direct democracy. In the different plenary sessions internationally renowned experts such as Giovanna Zincone (FERI, Turin), Rainer Bauböck (EUI, Florence), Patrick Weil (Yale Law School) and Dawn Chatty (University of Oxford) took up the issue and discussed the turbulence of migration in Europe in the light of changing migratory flows, growing anti-immigrant discourses and policies and a questioning of the human rights regime. Ryszard Cholewinski and Marie-José Tayah (ILO, Geneva) provided an insider perspective on the state of the art of the academic literature on international migration governance and presented ideas on how academia and international organizations could interact more fruitfully in this area. The statements made clear, that today migratory patterns, migration governance and mobile life-worlds are in a vast transformation, for which no ready-made answers exist.

In order to better understand this situation, the participants of the conference met in some 90 panels and workshops and discussed topics as diverse as naturalization ceremonies, solidarity movements between refugees and squatters, discrimination on labor markets, transnational networks of domestic care workers, highly skilled migrants, as well as modes of multiple citizenship – to name only a few.

For the nccr – on the move and its fellows the international exposure was an inspiring and motivating start in the endeavor of developing new perspectives on migration and mobility in Switzerland.

Rohit Jain, Scientific Officer, nccr – on the move

Panel on “Human Rights in Times of Politicized Migration and Fragmented Protection Management” / IMISCOE PhD Award Presentation

Panel on “Rights and Democracy: An Antagonistic Relationship in European Migration Policy?” / Rinnus Peninx Best Paper Award 2015