1st Edition

Cities, Migration, and Governance Beyond Scales and Levels

Edited By Felicitas Hillmann, Michael Samers Copyright 2023

    This volume examines how cities, migration, and urban governance are intertwined. Questioning and re-working the conceptual reliance on “scales” and “levels”, it draws on examples from both Europe and North America to conceptualize the variety of cities as re-active and pro-active within “glocal” and “socio-territorial dynamics”.

    The book covers the governance of the myriad dimensions of urban life, such as work, housing, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, the arts, leisure, and other cultural practices, political participation, social movements, and “contentious politics” in North American and European cities. While cities might implement “integration policies,” the chapters do not necessarily assume that migrants live with the telos of “integration”, but rather conduct their lives as anyone else would, making meaning and voicing concerns under often difficult material conditions, strewn with the markers of race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, and often illegality. The volume highlights four arguments, themes, or contributions addressed by one or more of the chapters: how demographic change is prompting more pro-active urban governance responses in many cities in the 21st century; how the sheer complexity of migration in the 21st century is shaping the participation of citizen civil society actors, the growing role of new private actors in the realm of urban governance, and the participation of migrants themselves in this governance. The book reminds us that we are confronted with a spectrum of urban governance strategies, ranging from re-active cities to pro-active and welcoming cities.

    Both timely and relevant, this book collects the work of well-known scholars in the field of migration and urban studies. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Geographical Review.

    Introduction: Cities, migration, and governance: beyond scales and levels

    Felicitas Hillmann and Michael Samers

    1. The Urban Governance of Asylum as a "Battleground": Policies of Exclusion and Efforts of Inclusion in Italian Towns

    Maurizio Ambrosini

    2. Relational Multiscalar Analysis: A Comparative Approach to Migrants within City-Making Processes

    Ayşe Çağlar and Nina Glick Schiller

    3. Diversity Development in Postsocialist Cities: The Example of East Germany

    Birgit Glorius

    4. Fight for the City: Policing, Sanctuary, and Resistance in Chicago

    Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz and Reyna Wences

    5. Local Path Dependency and Scale Shift in Social Movements: The Case of the us Immigrant Rights Movement

    Walter Nicholls, Davide Gnes and Floris Vermeulen

    6. Live, Work, and Stay? Geographies of Immigrant Receptivity in Atlantic Canada’s Aspiring Gateways

    Yolande Pottie-Sherman and Nelson Graham

    7. Homemaking and Places of Restoration: Belonging Within and Beyond Places Assigned to Syrian Refugees in the Netherlands

    Ilse van Liempt and Richard Staring


    Felicitas Hillmann, Professor, is currently Head of the FIS-networking unit "Paradigm Shift" (nups) at the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Her research interests focus on the role of migration for urban transformation and for the restructuring of international labour markets, increasingly so under conditions of multiple crises.

    Michael Samers is Professor of Economic and Urban Geography at the University of Kentucky, United States. His research interests include the urban and economic dimensions of migration as well as the political economy of urban change, especially in France and the United States.