European Migrant "Crisis," Refugee Integration, and the Neo-Nationalist Right


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My attention is currently directed at the theme of refugee reception in Italy. Since 2011, ethnographic research on Sicily has examined how refugees are integrated within their host communities, as well as the roadblocks to successful recognition of the social, cultural, and economic needs of newcomers. A period of fieldwork on Lampedusa allowed me to examine the discordant dynamics of hospitality and anti-immigration sentiment at the local level, while on neighbouring Sicily I have examined the rising support for neo-nationalist right-wing movements within rural communities over the alleged demographic and cultural threat posed by refugees, as well as the rejection of this discourse by refugee rights advocates. Over the next three years, a research project titled “Between Crisis and Renewal: Demographic Decline, Neo-Nationalist Populism, and Refugee Integration in Rural Italy” will examine a broad-based movement in Italy to settle refugees from the Global South in declining rural towns in order to secure the demographic viability of these sites, and of the political debates surrounding this issue within the southern region of Calabria.

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Principal Investigator

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