"Multi-level governance of an intractable policy problem: migrants with irregular status in European cities"

Open Lectures Spring 2015

  • Date: Jul 16, 2015
  • Time: 02:15 PM - 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Sarah Spencer (COMPAS, University of Oxford)
  • Sarah Spencer is Director of the Global Exchange on Migration (https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/globalexchange/) and Diversity at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. Her research interests are in irregular migrants, integration, human rights and equality issues, and in the policy making process. She was an Open Society Fellow (2012-2014) exploring issues relating to irregular migrants in Europe, on which her presentation will draw. Her publications can be seen at compas (https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/people/staff/sarah-spencer/publications/). Sarah was awarded her doctorate at Erasmus University Rotterdam, has an MPhil from University College London and took her first degree in Sociology at the University of Nottingham. She is a former Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality in Britain, Chair of the network of civil society equality organisations, the Equality and Diversity Forum, and Director of Liberty.
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, Göttingen
  • Room: Library Hall
"Multi-level governance of an intractable policy problem: migrants with irregular status in European cities"

For more details please contact buethe(at)mmg.mpg.de.

Sarah Spencer’s presentation explores the responses of European cities to the presence of migrants with irregular status who have service needs, and the tensions with national governments to which this can give rise. Drawing on a study on responses to irregular migrants across the EU28, and a second study on local responses in the UK, she identifies within an agenda-setting framework the factors that lead to divergence between local and national framing and policy responses. Finding a range of pragmatic, problem-oriented responses that dominate policy justification at the local level, she sets out four modes of central-local relations based on consensual or conflicting policy framing and the existence or absence of opportunities for vertical venue shopping, illustrated with examples from the studies cited. In the final mode of relationship, where a city finds a low visibility means to provide access to a service in order to avoid conflict with national government, the article demonstrates the differing forms that this ‘shadow politics’ of migrants’ rights can take, including the funding of arms-length provision of services through non-governmental organisations. It concludes that the dynamic of multi-level governance is one part of explaining the nature of local responses to the challenges that the presence of migrants with irregular status can pose.

Go to Editor View