1st Edition

Ignorance and Change Anticipatory Knowledge and the European Refugee Crisis

    270 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Ignorance and Change analyses the European refugee crisis of 2015–2016 from the perspective of ignorance studies showing how the media, decision-makers and academics engaged in the projection and reification of the future in relation to the crisis, the asylum system, and the solutions that were proposed.

    Why do recent crises fail to bring meaningful change? Why do we often see replication of the regimes of ignorance, inefficient knowledge and expertise practices? This book answers these questions by shifting the focus from the issue of change to our projections and expectations of what change will look like. Building on three comprehensive case studies, Poland, Hungary, and Romania, it demonstrates how ignorance and projectivity were essential for new Member States not only for managing the crisis but also for reaching a higher level of autonomy in relation to the EU.

    Employing an innovative interactional approach to ignorance, it bridges ignorance studies with sociology of future and migration research. Challenging the dominant interest in defining ignorance, it moves the focus from what ignorance is to what ignorance does. It incorporates the concept of future into ignorance studies and develops notions such as “projective agency,” “reification of the future,” “projection by proxy,” and “projectors of EU asylum policies.” The book provides an erudite background, comprehensive empirical research, and original tools of analysis for graduate students, researchers, and policy makers interested in crisis studies, public policy, ignorance studies, social theory, migration studies, and sociology of the future.

    1. Introduction

    2. Ignorance, Unexpected Events and Crises

    3. Change in the Regimes of Ignorance

    4. Crisis and Ignorance

    5. The European Refugee Crisis and the Ignorance of Framing

    6. Projecting the European Refugee Crisis: Polish, Hungarian and Romanian Media

    7. From Categories to Seeing Like Public Policy: Ignorance and Change in Poland, Hungary and Romania

    8. Conclusions


    Adriana Mica is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Social Prevention and Resocialisation, University of Warsaw where she leads the Research Unit on Action and Consequences. Her research interests include sociology of possibility and ignorance, sociology of failure, unintended consequencesm, and crisis management. She is the author of Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible (2018)

    Anna Horolets is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. Her research interests include discourse analysis, Europeanization and migration studies. Her published articles have appeared in East European Politics and Societies and Leisure Sciences.

    Mikołaj Pawlak is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Social Prevention and Resocialisation, University of Warsaw where he leads the Chair of Sociology of Norms, Deviance and Social Control. His research interests cover new institutional theory, migration studies, and sociology of knowledge/ignorance. He is the author of Tying Micro and Macro: What Fills Up the Sociological Vacuum (2018).

    Paweł Kubicki is an Associate Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics where he leads the Department of Social Policy. He specializes in public policy analysis, particularly in disability studies, migration studies, and social exclusion. His published articles have appeared in Canadian Journal of Disability Studies and East European Politics and Societies.

    "Why did recent social crises not lead to meaningful change? The authors of this book tackle this question based on the investigation of the recent European refugee crisis and its perception in Poland, Hungary and Romania. The book is an innovative contribution in social science research with a sobering conclusion: Nothing will change as long as the path to the future is projected based on the very same principles that led to the crisis in the first place."

    Jens Beckert, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

    "Ignorance and Change tackles the puzzle of why the many unexpected events, crises and failures that we have faced globally over the past years have so often reinforced rather than unsettling existing patterns of ignorance. In doing so, the authors demonstrate how focusing on what ignorance does rather than what it is that holds out the promise of transforming our understanding of how we respond to change and crisis. This is a powerful and important book in unsettling times."

    Jacqueline Best, University of Ottawa