THE GEARY INSTITUTE launches its "Migration & Citizenship Research Initiative" and its two year programme on research-policy dialogue and development in the areas of immigration and mainstream integration in Ireland during a day-long conference on Friday, 10 February 2006 in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin, Ireland. Students and unwaged can attend by registering. Others pay €45 and enjoy a free lunch, offered as part of the sponsorship provided by the Royal Irish Academy Third Sector Research Programme.
In Ireland, contemporary patterns of migration have stimulated new debates concerning national identity and citizenship, inclusion and belonging, equality and difference. These debates are most visible in civil society arenas, particularly by providing spaces of participation for those from the newest and, in many cases, most marginalized communities, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and new citizens. I get personal e-mails from people who object to these ˜newcomers" taking up active roles in Irish society.
Concerns in Ireland about the decline in civic participation in the wake of the Celtic Tiger have focused attention on civil society, social capital and "active citizenship", as well as their roles in national wellbeing and competitiveness. However, the impacts of immigration and ethnic diversity upon Irish civil society are only just beginning to be addressed in Irish research and policy arenas.
At the 10 February conference, panels will showcase new Irish research and emergent policy work that are responding to these important transitions and transformations. Dr Jean Tillie, an international expert from the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies at the University of Amsterdam, will share insights from his extensive work on migrant civic community and political integration, and multicultural democracy in Europe. The day's programme will provide an opportunity to learn from work underway across Irish university, civil society and statutory arenas and to begin a dialogue across these different sectors towards the development of informed and collaborative work in these areas.
For general information, to register or request a travel bursary, contact Carmen Frese on +353 17164621 or by email (Carmen.frese AT ucd.ie)
I was not surprised to discover that many of the "similar" Irish blog posts related to this item often contain anti-immigration positions.