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Migration and European Cosmopolitanism: A Critical Assessment

May 27-28, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne

Organization: NoVaMigra, University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne (ISJPS), KU Leuven (Center for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy)

Deadline for submissions: November 30th, 2018.

As part of the H2020 NoVaMigra project, this international conference will examine the topic of migration in relation to European cosmopolitanism from various perspectives in social, political, legal philosophy.

Cosmopolitanism rests on the basic idea that humans’ political standing should not depend on their cultural and national membership, but reflect their moral status as human beings. In the 1990s and 2000s, many have considered the EU and European political culture to foreshadow a supranational cosmopolitan polity or, at least, to offer an exemplary case of cosmopolitanism in the making. However, strong populist and xenophobic reactions to the influx of economic migrants and asylum seekers in the last decade has cast serious doubts on such a view of the EU and its Avantgarde role for a post-national age. The 2015 crisis has also contributed to reactivating values and ideas opposed to cosmopolitanism (such as unrestricted national sovereignty, cultural integrity, and the criminalization of solidarity) and to raising skepticism regarding the ability of the EU to live up to the requirements of a cosmopolitan order (solidarity, protection of human dignity, openness to diversity, toleration).

This conference will draw from various approaches in social, political and legal philosophy to assess the extent to which the EU’s answer to contemporary global migration patterns reflects cosmopolitan values and commitments. It also seeks to discuss what could be a model of a cosmopolitan Europe in an era marked by global migratory fluxes.

We are especially interested in contributions addressing the following issues:

Is there a EU approach to human rights?

What has been the role of the ECHR and other EU institutions in protecting migrants’ human rights? How can European values help interpreting the human rights of migrants and the responsibilities of the EU and its member states with regard to migrants and asylum seekers?

European solidarity and migration

How is solidarity between member states and between EU citizens and foreigners conceived in the wake of the migrant and refugee ‘crisis’? What is the nature of the obstacles to solidarity and what are the potential avenues for strengthening solidarity in the EU? What are the sources of solidarity in Europe? Does the EU draw on exclusionary characteristics (its secular/Christian character) to nurture solidarity?

Cooperation in the EU and migration

Has the EU been successful in promoting cooperation among member states in the domain of migration and integration policy? To which extent should migration and integration be viewed as European competences? What is the nature of interdependence and of social cooperation with regard to migration? How can the EU fairly allocate responsibilities to provide asylum?

How should we understand horizontal intergovernmental relations (between member states) and vertical (between member states and the EU) intergovernmental relations regarding migration policies?

To which extent has the EU been able to empower local and subnational actors (cities, associations, regional governments) driven by cosmopolitan values and engaged in migrants’ inclusion and settlement?

A European Cosmopolitanism?

Are there inherent inconsistencies and tensions in the ideal of European cosmopolitanism? Do pan-European identity and solidarity reproduce the exclusionary character of the national state?

How do EU institutions represent migration? Have they put forth a neoliberal discourse on the economic benefits of migration? Can such a discourse be reconciled with cosmopolitan values?

The deadline for submission is November 30th, 2018.
Abstracts (500 words) can be submitted in English or in French at
Notification for acceptance will be sent by December 15th, 2018.

Keynote Speakers:
June Edmunds (University of Sussex)
Andrea Sangiovanni (European University Institute)

Organization Committee
Isabelle Aubert (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ISJPS)
François Boucher (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ISJPS)
Sophie Guérard de Latour (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ISJPS)
Eszter Kollar (KU Leuven, CESPP)

Confirmed participants Benjamin Boudou (MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity), Fabienne Brugere (Université Paris 8), Philippe Crignon (SPH), Speranta Dumitru (Paris Descartes) June Edmunds (University of Sussex), Christian Fernandez (Malmö University), Elzbieta Gozdziak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań) Guillaume Le Blanc (Université Paris-Est Créteil), Izabella Main (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), Andreas Niederberger (Duisburg-Essen Universität), Emmanuel Picavet (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne).


Our blog on migration and European Democracy is now live! We’re starting with an blog entry on “The View from Germany: CEAS Reform and the Spectre of “Merkel’s Refugee Policy”’ by Therese Herrmann, you can find it here

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