Local transformations and asylum-seeker reception
This project focuses on how urban actors, especially local authorities, in Germany are responding to the recent and on-going arrival of larger numbers of asylum-seekers. While the reception and inclusion or exclusion of refugees depends to a great deal on national and EU legislation, local authorities (Kommunen) are shaping the implementation of national and regional (Länder) legislation and, within the scope permitted by national and regional regulations, create their own rules. Not only do they decide on access to or exclusion from many services and information that are crucial for newcomers, they are often also responsible for the quality of the services and information to which refugees do have access. At the same time, the arrival of large numbers of refugees is likely to change the fabric of the local community and the structures, processes and institutions of different aspects of local life. The project looks at how local authorities position themselves in the federal system with regard to asylum-seekers, how they shape and transform the latter’s situations and at how the most recent influx of refugees is in turn transforming cities and towns.