Call for papers


Migrations, populism and the crisis of globalization


Over the last few years, migrations have become a central theme in the political and economic debate. The most critical aspects, also because of the many border deaths that they implied, refer to migrations from African and Asian countries towards Europe and from Latin and Central American countries towards the United States, but also to intra-European migrations, from Eastern to Western Europe.

Some countries have been successful so far in preventing them through the application of restrictive and selective policies that, however (as in the case of Japan or Australia, for example) have been effective mainly because of the natural barriers provided by their geographic location.

In the current debate, the negative effects attributed to migrations are often included among the main causes of Brexit, Trumpism, populism, nationalism and of the more general crisis of globalization. As a matter of fact, they are a multi-faceted phenomenon, involving many different issues.

First of all, legal and ethical issues, that can be synthesized in the paradox that while capital is allowed to flow freely across the world, labor – the other most relevant factor of production – is not. Such questions emerge also in the distinction often made between economic migrants and refugees, as if people who live in a situation of absolute poverty and deprivation should not be given the possibility to look for a decent existence for their families and for themselves. Those aspects are accompanied by harsh dilemmas relative to the ‘right’ immigration policies to be adopted by destination countries, to the sacredness of life to be defended at all costs in the case of an emergency, but also to the – even involuntary - possible wrong signals and incentives imputed to humanitarian intervention.

Second, social issues, including those relative to the effects that immigration and the resulting ethnic diversity (together with the cultural and religious one) may have on the social capital of destination countries; on the maintenance of their traditions and specific identity, in their multiple meanings; on the feeling of uneasiness, insecurity and fear that is often resented by the resident population with the arrival of new immigrants.

Third, cultural and religious issues, due to the fact that different habits, traditions and religions have to live side by side. As a matter of fact, new labor forces entering a country imply the entrance of new people. This can be summarized by the well-known phrase of the Swiss-German playwriter Max Frisch, originally referred to the Turkish immigration in Germany in the years following World War II: “We asked for workers, but human beings came”.

Fourth, political issues, resulting once more from the consequences of immigration on the perceptions and feelings of the people living in destination countries, and represented by the spreading of new forms of populism and nationalism. Such phenomena may well have to do with the fear that immigration may increase crime (and in some cases even terrorism), although the positive empirical correlation between immigration and crime is highly controversial. In any case, they should be addressed in an informed, scientific and non-emotional way, an approach which is not always followed in these days.

Finally, economic issues, because of the positive and negative effects that migrations may have. As a matter of fact, potentially negative effects may result on the countries of origin (arm brain and brain drain could undermine their future development opportunities) but also on destination countries (competition with local unskilled workers and threat to the economic and social standards resulting from decades of negotiations between unions and employers, conflict in the access to shrinking social rights).

At the same time, however, there are undeniable positive aspects for both of them: origin countries receive from migrants significant amounts of remittances, that can be fruitfully channeled to support economic activities, development and growth, while destination countries are allowed to satisfy the manpower needs of many agricultural and manufacturing sectors together with the many other needs resulting from their falling demographic trends. Considering the points made above, the CISP (Centro Interdisciplinare "Scienze per la Pace") at the University of Pisa, the academic journal Scienza e Pace/Science and Peace, the AISSEC (Associazione Italiana per lo Studio dei Sistemi Economici Comparati) and the GLO (Global Labor Organization) invite scholars and experts (economists, historians lawyers, philosophers, political scientists, sociologists and social science scholars in general) to present their works and findings in the workshop “Migrations, populism and the crisis of globalization”.


Instructions for authors

The workshop (that will be held in English, unless all presenters will be Italian) will take place on 30 and 31 March 2020 in the Department of Economics of the University of Pisa. Please send an abstract of approx. 300 words to the editorial board of the academic journal Scienza e Pace/Science and Peace (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and to the AISSEC secretariat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 31 January 2020. Acceptance will be notified around mid-February. A first draft of the paper would be expected by mid-March.

An issue of Scienza e Pace/Science and Peace will be devoted to the themes addressed in the workshop and will include the articles that will be submitted by April 30, 2020. Conference participants are particularly encouraged to submit their papers. The articles submitted for publication should follow the Editorial guidelines of the journal and will be subject to peer review refereeing.

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