Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis

Reminder: Applications for our Summer School “Responses to Migration: Europe & the Global South” are open until 1 March! You can register here.

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NoVaMigra International Conference on Populism and Migration, Budapest, 10-11 March 2020


Hans-Georg Betz (University of Zurich), François Boucher (KU Leuven), András Bozóki (Central European University), Alex Demirovic (University of Frankfurt), Marcus Düwell (University of Utrecht), Eva Gedö (John Wesley Theological College Budapest), Catherine Vihtol de Wenden (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Jean-Yves Camus (IRIS), Peter Krekó (Political Capital Institute), Attila Melegh (Corvinus University Budapest), Richard Szentpéteri Nagy (John Wesley Theological College Budapest), János Salamon (McDaniel College Budapest), Endre Sík (Debrecen University / TARKI), Éva Szénási (University of Szeged) and others

Venue: John Wesley Theological College & Hotel Benczúr, Budapest, Hungary

Following the 2015 wave of migration, populism has gained momentum world-wide. In 2016, “populism” was chosen the Word of the Year as the term most often used in the professional press and the media. Political theorists all over the globe have taken notice of this new phenomenon.

This conference will focus on the relationship between migration and populism. The two phenomena show a fairly clear difference in their geographical location: migration is more immediately felt in Western Europe, while in the Eastern parts, where it tends to pose a theoretical rather than a practical problem, anti-migration propaganda takes center stage in the politics of burgeoning populist governments. The intention of this conference is to take a long and hard theoretical look at the problems related to these two concepts. Special attention will be given to the following questions: what is the causal relationship between the spread of populism and migration? What role do anti-migration sentiments play in the self-definition of populism? To what extent do the theoretical and political deficits of liberalism contribute to the growing presence and influence of populism today?

For more information, contact Richard Szentpéteri Nagy at

For a detailed programme and registration, see here.

Webinar Series on EU Migration and Refugee Policy Between Populism and Societal Transformations


John Wesley Theological College, Budapest, Richard Szentpéteri Nagy

in collaboration with Kálmán István of the Objektív Stúdió Kft. Tel: +3630-99-29-300,

You can watch all Webinar Videos here on our website.

Matter over Mind – Populism: an appeal to numbers with János Salamon
Date: 29 January 2020, 16:00 (CET)

According to a long philosophical, Socratic tradition critical of democracy the rule of the many is in fact the rule of quantity over quality, of passions over reason, of matter over mind. In this talk the presenter wants to explore the relationship between anti-intellectual, anti-elite populism and democracy. In his investigation he intends to pay special attention to two related paradoxes.
Play on Youtube

What is populism? with Éva Gedő
Date 5 February 2020, 16:00 (CET)

The starting point of the lecture is that contemporary populist politics is characterized by a tendency to undisguised lying. Oxford Dictionaries designated “post-truth” as its 2015 Word of the Year. The concept of post-truth has been around for the past decade, but Oxford Dictionaries has witnessed a surge in usage in the year 2016 in the context of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. The idea of post-truth has also become a collocation of a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics. In the webinar presentation, it is attempted to create a new kind of so-called
“methodological individualist” position for the criticism of populism. The problem of populism is approached through the question of its relation to liberalism. The basis of the methodological individualist criticism of populism will be the problem of subjective decision, where treachery as a philosophical problem comes to the fore, and populism is approached through the question of the decision that justifies life-lies.
Play on Youtube

Relationship between migration and populism. A Comparative analysis of France and Germany with Eva Gedő and Éva Szénási
Date: 12 February 2020, 16:00 (CET)

The two lectures following one another attempt to present and compare the policies of two right-wing populist parties in Western Europe the Front National and the AfD. The webinar gives emphasis to the analysis of the causes of the recent success of both parties. In this context, the webinar gives a brief overview of the histories of both right-wing radical parties and their current policies, the changes in their image, political language and themes. The comparison is interesting since the two parties, though keep their distances, have similar views on several issues, such as migration. Both parties describe national identity as under threat both from European integration and from the presence and accommodation of immigrants and refugees within the respective countries.
Play on Youtube

Migration and xenophobia with Endre Sík
Date 19 February 2020, 16:00 (CET)

This webinar explores how the Hungarian government framed the migration discourse and how the Fidesz-KDNP party coalition instrumentalised the refugee crisis as a „moral panic” button to increase the popularity of the government after its popularity decline 2014. The paper shows different anti-refugee governmental strategies of 2015 and 2016 such as the national consultation, the billboard, media and the referendum campaigns and analyses their impact on the xenophobic attitudes in the Hungarian society.
Play on Youtube

Migration as an international phenomenon with Attila Melegh
Date: 26 February 2020, 16:00 (CET)

The history of the population and migration policy and the radicalization of emographic nationalism can be understood as evolving within the era of globalization out of an interplay between demographic challenges and labor market challenges on a global, European and local level. On all these levels there are key factors operating due to neoliberal institutions, most importantly the freedom of capital to move and overrule and subordinate local social arrangements. This webinar looks at Hungary as an example.
Play on Youtube


János Salamon

János Salamon is professor of philosophy at McDaniel College, Budapest, a former associate professor of philosophy at Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design Budapest. He taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, at St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, New Jersey and at the diplomat school of the Foreign Service Institute, State Department, Washington D.C. His books include A magány metafizikai struktúrája (The Metaphysical Structure of Solitude), Budapest: Attraktor, 2003 and A szív arisztokratikus szokásai (The Aristocratic Habits of the Heart), Budapest: Kalligram, 2016

Éva Gedő

Eva Gedő is an associate professor at the John Wesley Theological College. She wrote her PhD thesis in philosophy at ELTE University Budapest in 2006. Her thesis topic was the philosophical analysis of the decisionist political theory of Carl Schmitt. Her main research areas include German historicism, the political philosophy of the Conservative Revolution in the Weimar Republic, populism as political philosophy, theories on fascism. She taught for 12 years at the University of Miskolc, Faculty of Arts, now she is a lecturer at several universities such as ELTE, Károli Gáspár University, and the John Wesley Theological College.

Éva Szénási

Éva Szénási is professor emeritus at the Faculty of Education at the University of Szeged. Her fields of study are the history of French political ideas and the analysis of some theoretical questions related to the European integration. Her publications are primarily based on these topics. Her latest study ‒ to be published in the History of contemporary France ‒ is a deep dive into the history of French radical parties. She is also a translator from French. Between 1993 and 1994, she worked as a visiting professor at the Institute of Political Studies at the University of Lausanne. In 2000, she gave lectures at the Institut of Political Studies of Paris in the frame of the doctoral school studying post-communist countries. She is an editor of the Varietas Europaea book series at L’Harmattan-Hungary publishing house.

Endre Sík
Endre Sík is external researcher at the Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest, Institute for Sociology, and professor emeritus at ELTE, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Minority Studies, Budapest. His teaching experience include: 2003 – EU identity – Tomsk State University, Tomsk, 2005, 2006 – Sociology of Migration EIUC, Venice, 1996 – Second Economy in PostCommunism, CEU, Prague, 1994 – The Sociology of the Informal Economy, Notre Dame University, and 1990 – Sociology of organisation, University of Toronto. He has been a fellow of several research centres across Europe and a recipient of several research grants.

Attila Melegh
Attila Melegh is senior researcher at the Demographic Research Institute, Central Statistical Office. Budapest, and associate professor at the Institute of Sociology and Social Policy, Corvinus University, Budapest, as well as professor at Tomori Pál College, Kalocsa. He is a recipient of several Academic Honors, Professorships and Awards. His books include: On the East/West Slope. Globalization, Nationalism, Racism and Discourses on Central and Eastern Europe. New York-Budapest, CEU Press, 2006.

Call for Applications NoVaMigra International Summer School 2020

14–18 September 2020

Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Call for Applications (short version)

The interdisciplinary course explores international, national and local responses to migration and refugee challenges in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The main focus will be on relations between Europe on the one hand, and the Middle East and Africa on the other. Building on an analysis of the construction and consequences of migration crises, we consider immigration and refugee policies as well as popular movements for or against migrants in different countries and contexts. We analyze the ways in which these policies and movements relate to ideas about human rights and sovereignty, state interests and the politics of global and regional governance. The course combines an overview of recent research on EU migration policy-making with an in-depth study of current conceptual and policy debates in selected European, Middle Eastern and African countries and cities. In doing so, the course also examines some of the important political reform pressures the world as a whole is facing with regard to the future of global migration governance.

The deadline for submissions is 01 March 2020 (11:59 pm).
For further information please contact Volker Heins (

Please note the full text of this call and open/download the pdf file from the right column.

Applications here


Volker Heins and Laura Gerken

Full Call

Download file (199.29 kB)



Reminder: Applications for our Summer School “Responses to Migration: Europe & the Global South” are open until 1 March! You can register here.

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