Special Issue "Immigration and Intercultural Integration in Europe: How Far Have We Gone?"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "International Migration".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2023) | Viewed by 1003

Special Issue Editor

Department of Language and Intercultural Studies, University of Thessaly, 382 21 Volos, Greece
Interests: intercultural communication; international migration; intercultural integration; globality and superdiversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2021, the Council of Europe published a model policy framework for an Intercultural Integration Strategy at the National Level [1]. This is developed “through multilevel dialogue and aims to serve as a basis for national intercultural integration strategies that are holistic, based on human rights standards, underpinned by a realistic understanding of cross-border mobility and its impact, and aware of the human, social and economic cost of non-integration. It also draws on the positive results of the local authorities and member states that have applied the intercultural integration approach as a means to achieve real inclusion at the local level” (p. 5).

In this call for papers, we seek to explore the current situation with regard to the intercultural integration of immigrants and refugees in the EU. We expect papers on themes pertaining to the extent to which EU member states tackle the issue of intercultural integration in a range of parameters, namely: (a) equality, i.e., the existence of legal and policy frameworks guaranteeing the equality of all residents in a member state in law, and freedom from discrimination and intolerance in all arenas, embracing impartial treatment by public services and tackling all forms of racism and xenophobia. The degree to which measures to deal with both direct and indirect discrimination as well as inequality motivated by cultural difference, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity are adopted. The degree to which integration policies eliminate all inequalities in access to healthcare, education, housing, employment, entrepreneurship, family life and civic rights, between nationals and foreign residents. (b) Valuing diversity in public administration—the degree to which public officials are interculturally competent and how they cooperate with interpreters and cultural mediators in a manner that is dignified and supportive. The degree to which public institutions are organised with enough flexibility to ensure institutional adaptations that take account of the practical implications of difference. (c) Meaningful interaction, i.e., the degree to which mixing and meaningful interaction are promoted in the public space rather than letting segregation happen unwittingly through a laissez-faire approach in the domains of   housing, children’s schooling, employment, entrepreneurship, social services and urban planning. The ways in which law enforcement (especially the police) treat individuals of migrant or minority backgrounds. (d) Active citizenship and participation, i.e., the degree to which migrants’ access to nationality is facilitated, and whether all residents have the right to vote in local elections or whether alternative forms of participation such as deliberative forums, permanent roundtables for co-creation, co-implementation and co-evaluation of local policies, participatory budgeting and participatory policy development are available to foreign residents and non-citizens.

Contributions may draw on empirical research and consist of case studies, qualitative or quantitative studies or ethnographic studies.


[1] Model Framework for an Intercultural Integration Strategy at the National Level. Intercultural Integration Strategies: managing diversity as an opportunity (Council of Europe, 2021).

Dr. Nikolaos Gogonas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • intercultural integration
  • immigrants and refugees
  • European immigration and integration
  • equality
  • valuing diversity
  • meaningful interaction
  • active citizenship and participation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Bureaucratic Violence in the Residency Application Process: Findings from a Mixed Methods Cross-Sectional Survey of Migrant Women in Spain
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(9), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12090526 - 20 Sep 2023
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Bureaucratic violence linked to immigration systems and residency applications, such as confusing and cumbersome administrative processes, discriminatory practices and a lack of accountability, act as significant post-migration stressors in destination countries that can impact migrant wellbeing. The behavior of public officials within these [...] Read more.
Bureaucratic violence linked to immigration systems and residency applications, such as confusing and cumbersome administrative processes, discriminatory practices and a lack of accountability, act as significant post-migration stressors in destination countries that can impact migrant wellbeing. The behavior of public officials within these systems, referred to as ‘street-level bureaucrats’, can amplify stress through the use of discretion in interpreting legal requirements. The experiences of migrant women in attempting to obtain resident status in Spain have not been well documented. This article makes a novel contribution to the literature by aiming to understand the barriers faced by migrant women when applying for residency in Spain, and how experiences differ by socio-demographic subgroups. The study analysed mixed-methods data collected via an online survey of migrant women living in Valencia, Spain. A lack of information, communication barriers and difficulty meeting the stringent requirements of visa applications emerged as some of the main barriers to residency, with women from Africa, Asia or the Middle East being most likely to encounter barriers. Policy makers should seek to enhance transparency, standardize processes and improve communication for migrants interacting with the immigration system in order to reduce barriers and create more accessible pathways to residency in Spain. Full article
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