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  4. Migration and welfare conference: Political discourses and public attitudes in European States




Migration and welfare conference: Political discourses and public attitudes in European States




About the conference

This one-day event brings together scholars from diverse disciplines to explore the framing of migration and welfare in public and political discourses.

Debates on the relationship between migration and welfare structures have dominated political and public discourses of migration across European countries. In an often contradictory manner, migrants are constructed as contributing to national economies through employment and taxation, but also as challenging welfare states by placing burdens to education, health and pension systems. The access of migrants to welfare has been questioned and represented as a threat to the access of citizens to scarce resources Constructions of illegality have been employed to justify the exclusion of undocumented and irregular migrants from welfare state. Such representations have been articulated in relation to different categories of migrants at different times - illustrated, for example, by the shift of attention from asylum seekers to Eastern European migrants in UK public and media discourses. They occur in different national and are employed equally by populist right parties and mainstream ones, both often purporting to express the socio-economic anxieties of electorates. Discourses of migration and welfare reflect tensions around the national and universal character of the welfare state as an institution that guarantees citizens' socio-economic rights, and as such evoke debates on the nature of citizenship. At the same time, they may reflect, especially in the recent years of crisis and austerity politics, anxieties over national membership, identity, and socio-economic inequalities and grievances. However, discursive constructions of migration and welfare are also narratives of governance, framing social reality. As such, they can influence public attitudes and legitimate policies regulating the inclusion and exclusion of migrants.

Conference Programme

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Conference abstracts

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Accommodation/ Travel

Unfortunately we cannot provide for accommodation or travel expenses.


The registration for this conference is closed.

For further information, please contact


Room AG07, College building, City University London.

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When & where

9.30am - 6.00pmWednesday 18th June 2014

College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB UK

Contact Details

Dr Lena Karamanidou

Department of Sociology

School of Arts and Social Science

City University London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom
+ 44 (0)20 7040 3205

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