10 Things to Read About the refugee crisis and its consequences for Europe

2015 was a traumatic year in terms of the so-called “refugee crisis”; mass migration from countries around Europe, primarily from Africa and the Middle East, started to collapse in several fronts at the same time. From this year on, this crisis persisted, with thousands of deaths related to war and to attempts to escape the economic fragility of some origin countries. The threat in these latter countries may seem obvious, but does Europe have something to lose too when welcoming these refugees? The following list of articles helps us to better understand this phenomenon’s complexity and the consequences thereof for Europe.

1. Gender and age in the construction of male youth in the European migration “crisis” by L. Pruitt, H. Berents and G. Munro (2018), Signs 43(3), pp. 687-709.

One of the arguments for the process of accepting refugees in Europe is that the “Old Continent” needs, in part, to get younger, and countries like Syria and others – all of them with internal problems and where natives are moving out – are full of young people, a very precious resource for the European welfare state that is progressively getting older. With these concerns in mind, this article studies how the idea of male youth is constructed in the context that surrounds problems largely generated by the migration “crisis”. In addition, the authors delve into specific characteristics of the population concerning gender and age.

2. Increasing Understanding for Syrian refugee children with empirical evidence by S.R Sirin and J.L Aber (2018), Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies 13(1), pp. 1-6.

According to the authors, Europe will face the problem of educating and raising new foreign generations in its borders. In this debate, so polarized and shattered, the sensationalism around this topic can reach “high levels”. This article, analysing and exposing empirical evidence to the public about refugee children in Turkey and other neighbouring countries such as Syria, seeks to provide an understanding of the types of problems that host countries can have on keeping families and children stable, psychologically and educationally.

3. Who counts in crises? The new geopolitics of international migration and refugee governance by W. Allen, B. Anderson, N. Van Hear, M. Sumption, J. Hough, L. Rose, R. Humphris and S. Walkere (2018), Geopolitics 23(1), pp. 217-243.

According to the authors, the debate reached a point where it is very difficult to distinguish with certainty between a “refugee”, a “migrant”, and myriad of other terms that are used to describe foreigners that arrive in Europe from the Middle East and other regions affected by the crisis. Legal problems emerge as well as the questioning of notions like ‘citizenship’ and ‘nation-state’. The article tries to answer some of these questions and analyses geopolitics in light of the migration crisis.

4. The unique effects of blatant dehumanization on attitudes and behaviour towards Muslim refugees during the European “refugee crisis” across four countries by E. Bruneau, N. Kteily and L. Laustsen (2018), European Journal of Social Psychology (in press)

According to the authors, the European population’s reaction to the refugee crisis was fast. This article consists of a study carried out in four European countries with large samples regarding the rejection of Muslim immigrants. One of the conclusions that the study reaches is that Eastern Europe has shown more problems concerning the acceptation of refugees in terms of policy-making as well as within its population than countries like Greece or Spain. This can be a problematic situation when regarding common policies within the European Union, as it can represent a divisive factor therein.

5. From Market Integration to Core State Powers: The Eurozone Crises, the Refugee Crisis and Integration Theory by P. Genschel and M. Jachtenfuchs (2018), Journal of Common Market Studies 56(1), pp. 178-196.

The article introduces a viable argument concerning the evolution process of the European Union throughout the years as one of the main reasons for the vulnerability of the Union. The Eurozone crisis and the refugee crisis, in the article, are portrayed as problems that are especially difficult to solve due to a shift “from market integration to Core State Power”. In part, the re-regulation process and the centralization of power are deemed to be at the core of this problem and of the problems in solving such crises.

6. A Neofunctionalist Perspective on the “European Refugee Crisis”: The Case of the European Border and Coast Guard by A. Niemann and J. Speyer (2018), Journal of Common Market Studies 56(1), pp. 23-43.

The main argument proposed by the authors is that this refugee crisis showed, with no filters, the weaknesses of a system that was not prepared for such volume of problems associated with the crisis. The article seeks to explain why the policy makers failed on preventing these types of situations and why the countries that are a part of the Schengen space are failing to make common and more effective policies regarding the crisis.

7. Understanding Germany’s short-lived “culture of welcome”: Images of refugees in three leading German quality newspapers by M. Conrad and H. Aoalsteinsdóttir (2017), German Politics and Society 35(4), pp. 1-21.

Germany has been one of the most “welcoming” countries in all of Europe for refugees and this role has had consequences, for example, concerning the rise of extreme right political movements in the country. This article analyses the three leading German newspapers from August 2015 to March 2016 and their observation and exposure of the refugee crisis. The article argues that Germany, because of its recent history, feels that it has the moral obligation to help and assist the ones who flee from wars and deprivations.

8. The tandem of populism and Euroscepticism: a comparative perspective in the light of the European crises by M. Kneuer (2018), Contemporary Social Science (in press), pp. 1-17.

In this article, the author argues that one of the consequences of the recent wave of migrants arriving in Europe is the rise of populism and Euroscepticism. Besides the fact that populism is not a new “way of thinking and acting”, Kneuer reflects about the rising of “new” and “old” populism when concerned with the crises within the borders of Europe, regarding the refugee crisis in particular as one of the most important crises triggering changes within the European system.

9. The political vision of Europe during the “Refugee Crisis”: missing common ground for integration by M. Wolf and M. Ossewaarde (2018), Journal of European Integration 40(1), pp. 33-50.

In this article, based upon a qualitative analysis of interviews and speeches primarily, the authors blame some of the problems of the refugee crisis on the political elite and its incapacity of finding policies that enrich cooperation and effective integration policies. For the conclusions that they reach, it is exposed how and why some of the policies taken divide countries in Europe and waste so many resources in ineffective management and cooperation.

10. From the euro to the Schengen crises: European integration theories, politicization, and identity politics by T.A Börzel and T. Risse (2018), Journal of European Public Policy 25(1), pp. 83-108.

Despite the fact that this article is not directly focused the refugee crisis, it exposes and explores internal European problems as a whole and regarding the Schengen space. The authors show, in a very efficient way, the political problems that lead to an inefficient response from the EU to the crises that have emerged. The authors bring attention to problems like identity politics for example, as part of the spectrum of the debate that concerns Europe’s most recent crises, including the so-called “refugee crisis”.

Migrants crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, January 2016 / Photo by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe / CC BY-SA 4.0

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

João Barroso

Intern at CEI-IUL. Undergraduate student of Political Science at ISCTE-IUL.

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