Annual RC21 Conference 2011

The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings
Amsterdam (The Netherlands), July 7-9 2011

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research – Urban Studies
University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands

3. Local Responses to Transnationalism

This session addresses local responses to new urban diversity. Its particular focus is on migrants’ transnationalism in the receiving places, as well as places of origin. Economic globalization, new global social inequalities, and changing dynamics of migration have contributed to the emergence of transnational ties and networks across distant places and state borders. Today, the literature documents the vital life of hometown associations, diaspora networks, transnational migrant organizations and their collective efforts for the localities of their origin. However, little remains known about the responses of local authorities, social actors and local communities to the ´transnationalism from below´. Yet, there is a dramatic change in the social and political situation on the ground: if until recently, migrants’ transnational engagement received little attention from the places of their origin, while at the place of their reception it was considered conflicting with incorporation and belonging, today the attitudes seem to change. New concepts of (local) citizenship and belonging to local communities seem to partly open up to deterritorialized and simultaneous forms of membership and belonging.

This session invites papers, which are interested in a better understanding of local responses to migrants’ transnationalism:

  • Where, when and under what conditions is migrants’ transnationalism perceived in conflict with local communities?
  • Why, under what conditions and how do local authorities and diverse social actors promote migrants' transnationalism?
  • Where do new conflicts emerge?
  • Where do new ways of social cohesion and conviviality develop?

The scope of the panel includes the cases from the Global North as well as the South.

Dr. Margit Fauser, Bielefeld University, Faculty of Sociology, Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development. Email:

Dr. Gery Nijenhuis, Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences, International Development Studies. E-mail:

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21 December 2011
Deadline for abstract submission

10 January 2011
Notification of selected abstracts

1 March 2011
Registration open

15 May 2011
Deadline for early bird registration and for (some) hotel options

15 May 2011
Deadline for paper submission

15 June 2011
Papers online

7-9 July 2011