The Role of Cities Matters: How Local Policies Face Internal Borders

Panel Code
Open Panel

Nowadays, under the late neoliberal paradigm, chauvinist populisms are characterized by anti-minority positions and isolationist ideologies. In this context, how states regulate access to citizenship and welfare is deeply influenced by scarcity and racist assumptions, causing the emergence of what are called ‘hostile environments’, namely, a condition of fear and uncertainty that increasingly permeates different aspects of migrants’ daily lives. Facing this scenario, progressive policy alternatives emerge at local and city levels, seeking to protect and diminish the impact of everyday internal bordering practices. These political processes can change our understanding of democracy, who does politics and the scale of politics. In this vein, the constitution of Sanctuary, Fearless, and Welcome cities has to do precisely with the defence of people’s rights on the grounds of policies that promote proximity, inclusiveness, and social equity. This panel aims to discuss the possibilities and limits cities have in governing the cracks of national immigration control systems. Some of the questions motivating the discussion are: What powers cities have in migration policy? How far municipalities serve to protect and expand the rights of migrants and refugees? What possibilities local administrations have to guarantee migrants’ access to welfare and social services? Is it possible to ensure civic and social rights regardless of migration status? What options cities have to broaden citizenship beyond the constrictions of national immigration law? How local policies can make flexible and achieve changes in the way state bordering practices are enforced?


No accepted papers currently in this panel.