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The Contentious Politics of Sanctuary: Challenges and Opportunities for Democracy

Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 9:00 am – 9:45 am

The question of how to deal with growing migratory pressures arising out of persisting global inequalities in wealth and life changes is one of the biggest challenges for democracy in the 21st century. In this talk, I analyze a social movement of solidarity with migrants that seeks to counter social injustice and inequality by providing migrants with a sanctuary – a safe space where they are protected against immigration law enforcement. My focus is on the emergence of new actors and forms of doing politics that are contentious and defy legal and political norms. I zoom in on the search and rescue movement in the Mediterranean, analyzing the ethical and political dilemmas involved in this form of political action, and the implications that this form of activism has for democracy.

This is an online event. To join, please click here.

About the speaker:

Julia Mourao-Permoser is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science of the University of Innsbruck. Her research agenda focuses on the challenges and opportunities to democracy that arise in the context of migration, religious pluralism, and societal polarization over values. ​Within this broader context, her research analyzes the interplay between values, ideas and interests in politics and their impact on policy-making. She is particularly interested in ethically motivated political action, civil society activism, solidarity movements with migrants, and transnational advocacy networks. Her research has appeared in the 'Journal of European Public Policy', 'Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies', 'Global Networks', 'Religion, State and Society', and the 'European Journal of Migration and Law', among others.