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Urban Resilience and Urban Migration Governance: Some Conceptual, Methodological and Comparative Empirical Insights

Urban Resilience and Urban Migration Governance: Some Conceptual, Methodological and Comparative Empirical Insights
Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Join PERG and MiRG in their upcoming joint lecture with Professor Ricard Zapata-Barrero (Pompeu Fabra University).


ABSTRACT / In migration studies most of the recent literature on the “local turn” mentions pressures and constraints that cities must face in shaping their migration governance, their lack of autonomy, but very few try to articulate an approach to better grasp these challenges. There is thus a need to develop conceptual, methodological and empirical tools that are able to systematically account for the increasing stress cities must face due to external multi faceted pressures, state bordering processes, and the same migratory dynamics.

Being at the intersection of migration governance and urban political studies, the main purpose of this lecture is to advance the first pathways of a research agenda. The concrete purpose is trying to answer one preliminary key question: Why might urban resilience be a suitable category of analysis to advance research on urban migration governance? Among other arguments and against other use of the resilience lens in other studies, we find further evidence that urban justice is a central feature. This will allow me to discuss how resilience operates empirically seeking to maintain cohesion making and to provide migrants with the minimum threshold of “the right to have rights”.

After having done pilot fieldwork in three different urban regimes (Barcelona, Marseille and several cities in Tunisia), this last year, looking at common patterns but also differences due to national, historical and even geopolitical contexts, I will draw the first components of this urban resilience theory, still with the status of hypothesis awaiting more fieldwork to be able to generalize.

BIO / Ricard Zapata-Barrero is a Full Professor at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) and the director of GRITIM-UPF (Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration). He is also a member of the board of directors of the European Network IMISCOE (International Migration and Social Cohesion in Europe) and chairs its External Affairs Committee, alongside being the coordinator of EuroMedMig and EUMedMi Jean Monnet Network. He is a distinguished visiting scholar at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) (until June 2022). He is currently working on interculturalism as a policy paradigm for diversity policies, Mediterranean migration, urban resilience and migration governance. For publications see website: