GCU researchers to study European migrant crisis

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:42:00 GMT

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is taking part in a £3million study into the impact of the migrant crisis on Europe.

More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into the EU in 2015, sparking debate over how best to deal with resettling people as some countries struggled to cope.

GCU and the University of Cambridge will provide UK research for RESPOND, an EU-funded review of the crisis, which will focus on border control, migration and integration and will involve 14 universities across the continent, as well as in Lebanon and Iraq.

Researchers from Glasgow will study how the language used in political speeches on immigration, and the resulting newspaper coverage, shapes public perception.

They will also travel to Turkey and Iraq to set up ‘advice clinics’ to ensure migrants and refugees have access to accurate information, as part of the three-year project.

Dr Umut Korkut, of Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “We are going to see what politicians talk about in terms of European integration, how they appeal to their domestic audience and what kind of ideas they introduce to the public.

“Our researchers will concentrate on three types of newspapers in each country; conservative, liberal and middle ground and see how the politicians’ speeches are put into context.

“The plan is to establish legal aid, educational aid, employment aid and public health clinics, in Istanbul and Baghdad, and we will also look to host a series of lectures to dispel the false news about immigration into the European Union.”

RESPOND: Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond will focus on the mass migration triggered by conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The four-strong Glasgow team will also explore the policies and practices in-force at the Hungarian-Serbian and Greek-Turkish borders.

GCU and Cambridge will join universities in Sweden, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Lebanon and Iraq in the study, which will conclude in November 2020. The two projects led by Glasgow Caledonian University are worth £300,000.

The objectives of the project state: “RESPOND will show which migration governance policies really work and how migrants and officials are making-do in the too-frequent absence of coherent policies.

“Adhering to a refugee-centred approach throughout, RESPOND will bring insights to citizenship, gender and integration studies, ensure direct benefit to refugee communities and provide a basis for more effective policy development.”