The suppression of welcome
One way to interpret the organisation of refugee welcome in Europe is by thinking about the tension between the official response and the grassroots response to the events. This tension has evolved in different ways in different countries, but in general it is possible to distinguish between a bureaucratic tendency to abstract welcome into a specific problem or policy domain, and a different, often opposite, tendency to welcome in spontaneous, solidaristic and autonomous ways. Starting from the premise that welcome necessarily entails more than simply permitting entry and is inherently emotional and relational, this lecture explores a series of questions. How can genuine, spontaneous welcome be preserved under the pressure of statist and nationalistic logics and demands? How can we hold onto welcome as something meaningful when it seems to be under attack from not only right-wing nationalists and factions that draw spurious connections between refugees and security threats, but also the very architecture of bureaucracy? What relationship does welcome share with legalistic logics and practices? To what extent can welcomers and welcoming initiatives be supported by international cooperation, global organisational and communication systems, and resource-gathering mechanisms? And what role can research play in improving our understanding of welcome? By raising these questions the lecture aims to initiate a discussion about the nature, practicalities and possible futures of welcome in geography and the social sciences more broadly.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with FENNIA agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The license of the published metadata is Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a doctoral dissertation or book compilation), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).