CALL FOR PAPERS
Muslim minorities and the refugee crisis in Europe.
Narratives and policy responses.
8–9 November 2018, Warsaw (Poland)
An international conference organised by the Middle East and Central Asia Unit and the Department of Political Studies, Warsaw School of Economics
The recent refugee crisis started by the
ongoing war in Syria caught Europeans by surprise. The wave of refugees
(and later migrants from other regions) who came to the EU posed a huge
logistic, social and political challenge both for individual member
states and the EU. While protecting those who flee war is among the core
of European values, translating these values into practical political
response is proving to be very hard. The situation is further
exacerbated by the longevity of the conflict: hardly anyone expected
Bashar al-Asad, or the self-proclaimed caliphate of ISIS to last so
The Visegrad Group (V4) states and some
other New Member States (NMS) have made the process of finding political
response to the refugee crisis even harder by showing very limited
willingness (if any) to accept refugees. A variety of narratives have
been employed to support this stance, including the absence of colonial
past, the relatively low level of economic development, and resistance
to the so-called ‘EU dictate’. Strong emotions have been aroused, such
as fear of Muslims (and ethnic or religious Others in general), and used
in local political conflicts. Fear and hostility towards Muslims are
strong in NMS, even though the number of third country nationals in most
NMS has been marginal, as has been the size of local Muslim population
(except for Bulgaria), and it has not significantly changed as a result
of the refugee crisis.
This poses something of a paradox, as
the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have hardly been
touched by the refugee crisis, terrorism motivated by radical Islam, or
challenges related to integration of Muslims. The opposite is the case:
local Muslim communities are either autochthonous (like the Tatars or
the Pomacs) or well-integrated, as many Muslims came to this part of
Europe back in the socialist era to study, and so managed to learn the
language, get education and in the process, settle down. The reaction of
the broadly considered CEE to the refugee crisis and its rising fear of
Islam deserves discussion and reflection.
The V4’s reluctance to accept the
so-called “refugee quotas” can also be analysed in terms of power
sharing within the EU and as an attempt to shift the relations between
the core (the old EU, especially Germany) and peripheries (the NMS). In
other words, the refugee crisis in Europe provides not only an
interesting issue to reflect upon the CEE states themselves, but also
some answers to questions about the regional relations under the EU
superpower umbrella (social/cultural and political integration of the EU
While the background of this call
focuses on CEE, papers which provide a wider picture, on how the
narratives around and following the crisis have been formulated, or how
political responses between European countries differ, are also welcome.
Moreover, the definition of Europe used for the purpose of this
conference is broad and includes also non-EU member states. During the
conference we would like to reflect upon the following issues:
- What is the approach of individual
European countries to the migration and refugee crises of 2014+ and to
migrants and refugees in general?
- What are the scope and tools of
immigration and integration policies used by European countries towards
the recent wave of refugees and migrants?
- How is the refugee crisis linked to the way Muslim communities in Europe are perceived and treated?
- What are the success and failures of the EU refugee policy and V4/CEE/NMS partial solidarity?
- What are the differences between
V4/CEE/NMS and other European countries regarding the refugee crisis and
the perception of Muslims in Europe?
- How is Islamophobia linked to the
changes on the political scene in European countries (e.g. the rise of
nationalism or right wing parties)?
- How in practical terms can Islamophobia be counteracted and counterbalanced?
An important element of the conference
is the roundtable, to which we aim to invite Muslim representatives and
NGOs dealing with hate crimes and refugee integration. In this way we
hope to practical insights into their daily problems and challenges, as
well as tools they use and strategies they apply to counteract
intolerance against the Muslims.
The conference is organised within a
framework of a Jean Monnet project ref:EU | Muslim minorities and the
refugee crisis in Europe co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the
European Union. Other activities that have so far been organised are
listed on project’s website.
- 30.06.2018 submission of abstracts and bios
- 15.07.2018 notification about acceptance of abstracts
- 8–9.11.2018 the conference
- 30.11.2018 submission of final papers
- ~05.2019 publication of the monograph
SGH Warsaw School of Economics, al. Niepodległości 162, 02-554 Warsaw, Poland
There is no conference fee. The
organisers provide snacks during coffee breaks, and conference
materials. The rest of expenses (esp. accommodation and travel) are paid
for by the participants. In case of outstanding young scholars we can
partially reimburse some of these expenses. Shall you be needing such a
reimbursement, please indicate it while submitting your abstract and
What to do next?
Please submit your abstract (around 300
words) with a short bio until 30.06.2018 to the project coordinator,
Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska – associate professor at kgorak [at]
More at: http://refeu.eu/en/2018/04/16/call-for-papers-muslim-minorities-and-the-refugee-crisis-in-europe-narratives-and-policy-responses/