Online Panel Debate

About the Non/Sense of Distinguishing between Migrants and Refugees

October 1, 2020

In policy and public, it is often taken for granted to distinguish between migrants and refugees. However, researchers and practitioners tend to find that matters in the field are more intricate, reject a simple dichotomy, and struggle to assign clear labels to the opalescent realities. Whereas policy and law usually require clear-cut categories in order to manage mobilities, scholars seek to develop more fine-tuned typologies to explain the diversity of human behaviour and mobility. As a consequence, a whole array of concepts and categories has emerged, such as migration, forced migration, mixed migration, internal displacement, refuge, migrants, refugees, climate refugees, people on the move and even economic refugees. However, the labels such as migrants and refugees have significant legal and discursive powers as they determine which opportunities and rights new arrivals have.

In this panel debate, we aim to shed light on the diverse legal, scholarly and discursive practices and carve out lines of controversies to better understand the reasoning behind the different approaches. We have invited three distinguished guests from different disciplines, namely em. Prof Roger Zetter at the Refugee Studies Centre at University of Oxford, Prof Heaven Crawley, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University and Dr Dana Schmalz, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg/Berlin.

Orgnised by
IMIS – Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies at Osnabrück University
2020-10-01, 17:00-18:30 (CEST)
em. Prof Roger Zetter, Prof Heaven Crawley, Dr Dana Schmalz
Prof Dr Ulrike Krause, Dr Franck Duvell
To start