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Local perceptions on refugee and migrant integration in the City of Athens

When Jan 22, 2020
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Mill Lane Lecture Room 3
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{About the Speaker}  

Bianca Biagi is a researcher at the Centre for North South Economic Research (CRENoS)- University of Sassari and Cagliari (Italy) and involved in the Doctoral Programme of Gran Sasso Science Intitute (GSSI)- L’Aquila (Italy). She teaches Public Economics, Political Economy, Regional Economics and Policies, and Tourism Policies at the University of Sassari. She specialized in Tourism Economics at the University of Perugia (Italy); Urban and Regional Science in UK at the University of Reading (MSc) and University of Southampton (MPhil). She earned the Italian Doctorate in Social Science (economics) at the University of Sassari (Italy). Her publications cover a range of topics in regional and urban economics including, interregional migration and labour markets, quality of life and welfare in regions and urban settlements, tourism impact and externalities; regional productivity and multipliers.

 

{ABSTRACT}

Following the outbreak of the refugee crisis in Europe in the summer of 2015, the City of Athens has found itself in the forefront of an unprecedented crisis for both Greece and Europe. As thousands of refugees and migrants arrived to Greece on their journey to other European countries, Athens became the biggest European city of transit and has seen the greatest influx of refugees.

Today, as the number of migrants and refugees that will remain in the country – and in Athens in particular – still remains uncertain, it is of paramount importance to keep track and have a full understanding of the constantly changing profile of the migrant population within the geographical boundaries of the Municipality, in order to design urban policies for their inclusion and integration, while also safeguarding social cohesion in the local neighbourhoods of the city.

The present paper uses a unique dataset which is based on field surveys of refugees living in the city of Athens and interviews of local residents of neighbourhoods in Athens. It provides rich information on the sociodemographic characteristics and the quality of life of the refugee/immigrant population living in Athens, but also on the perceptions and possible challenges arising from the coexistence of the Athenian population and the urban refugee and migrant populations. We make use of this data to empirically examine what determines local perceptions regarding the possibilities for inclusion and integration of the newly arrived populations, while also looking at geographical variations in perceptions based on the ‘visibility’ of refugees and migrants at the local/neighbourhood level.