Jan Rath has been invited to become a member of the Advisory Board of a multi-partnered, international research initiative (called Refugee Research and Policy Center), a SSHRC Partnership project based in Canada.
This transatlantic partnership brings together leading refugee and migration scholars from seven disciplines, key government agencies, and community stakeholders in Canada and the European Union. It pursues a broad comparative analysis of different policy approaches in cities in Canada and selected European countries (Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Turkey). The project takes the city as a central place where integration happens. It analyzes the creation and implementation of refugee policy on the local-level (city/commune) by (i) looking at how the policy is formed within and between urban policy networks in Canada and Europe and (ii) identifying what its effects are: What policy solutions are being adopted, and seeing if they have the same effect in various geographical, historical and political contexts. We will, therefore, investigate a) the structure of social networks on the city level and their connectivity with national governments, civil society/service providers and business networks engaged in refugee accommodation, as well as the social networks created by the refugee themselves; b) the nodal points between these various policy networks and the dynamics of policy learning and diffusion; c) the assessment of the diffused policy solutions.
Mapping multi-stakeholder policy networks in urban settings requires the collaboration of researchers across disciplinary lines and a close partnership with community participants. The partnership’s approach to studying the settlement and integration of refugees is driven by the goal to co-create knowledge with our community partners and make research findings widely available to various audiences inside and outside of academia (from policy communities to NGOs and the public at large). With the help of a pioneering set of technology-based knowledge mobilization and knowledge creation initiatives, this project will instigate a collective learning process that is based on a multi-faceted, internationally designed exchange about social innovation and effective policy formation. The project results will be used to build forecasting activities for policy-makers and settlement providers alike.